With the Huawei P40 Pro+, the manufacturer is once again pushing the hardware to its limits, introducing a 100x zoom feature.
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Over the past few years, Huawei differentiated more and more the “Pro” version of their P series, starting with the P20 series and making the difference very clear with the P30 series. However, this year, the company did not stop there, introducing a third member in the high-end segment of the P series, the P40 Pro+, joining the P40 and P40 Pro. This time, both the naming and the differentiation have gotten quite complex, with the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro+ sharing most of the technical specifications and design, but being different on a very important point: the camera.
While the P40 Pro features a quad-camera set-up composed of a main 50MP camera, a 40MP ultra-wide-angle camera, a 12MP telephoto camera allowing for an optical zoom of up to 5x, and a ToF camera, the P40 Pro+ replaces this 12MP telephoto camera by an 8MP telephoto camera reducing the optical zoom to 3x, but adding a fifth camera to the overall array. This fifth camera is a second telephoto camera of 8MP, allowing for an optical zoom of up to 10x, a hybrid zoom of 20x and a maximum zoom of 100x, similar to Samsung’s recent “Space Zoom” feature introduced on the S20 series. However, the Chinese manufacturer has shown that their 100x zoom is actually usable, instead of just being a gimmick.
Now, while the P40 Pro+ will only be releasing this summer, the company is already advertising the phone, making potential and interested buyers wait until then. For instance, Huawei shared on Weibo some photo samples taken with the P40 Pro+, which are the same that are used on the device’s page on Huawei’s website. Keep in mind that these pictures have been compressed by the Chinese social network, severely lowering the quality:
As it can be seen, when fully zooming in, at 100x, most of the details have become a blurry, pixelated mess, with the overall picture resembling more a traditional oil painting rather than a picture taken with a smartphone worth 1 399€. However, the results achieved with less zoom remain quite interesting, just as it was the case with the P30 Pro a year ago.
At the same time, the addition of this new telephoto camera of 240mm has been done at the expense of the 12MP 125mm telephoto camera found on the regular P40 Pro, leading to a reduction in the quality of the pictures, as this longer periscope only results in 8MP pictures. While this technology remains interesting, seeing the manufacturer is being the first in using it and pushing it to its limits, one could wonder whether the higher price-tag is really worth it, and if, instead, the regular P40 Pro is not the model one should buy, being more adapted for everyday use. After all, how often does one use the zoom, especially at x50 or above?
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