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First impressions of the “world’s first ultra lighting phone” from Huawei…

First impressions of the “world’s first ultra lighting phone” from Huawei, the P60 Pro

Huawei’s P series makes a comeback with the new Huawei P60 Pro. At least, it’s slated to do so soon.

The flagship smartphone has yet to be released to the market, and we were given the opportunity to test out it out ahead of its launch. Here are our thoughts.

P for pearlescent

Featuring a marbled pearl design, the signature colourway for the Huawei P60 Pro is called the Rococo Pearl, and yes, it’s as fancy as it sounds.

In photos of the phone, there appears to be thin golden veins in the pearly white cover, but in reality, those accents are so thin that they’re pretty much imperceptible—at least on my version of the phone.

Supposedly, every single one of these phones ever made is unique.

While the Rococo Pearl is visually stunning, those who want a more low-profile phone can opt for a classic black, a pastel violet, or a deep forest green.

Those phones won’t have the same pearly finish, though. The black and the violet will feature anti-fingerprint feather-sand glass, while the green seems to just sport a polished glass back cover.

The P60 Pro’s display is 6.67 inches with a resolution of 2700×1220 pixels. It’s got a quad-curve display, which just means each edge of the screen is curved for better grip.

Of course, the phone is made with Kunlun Glass, which is said to have taken Huawei over four years to develop.

Also featured on the Huawei Mate 50 Pro (which we’ve reviewed), Kunlun Glass has been praised for its durability and has gone viral for being used to break walnuts. Perfect for butter fingers or people who don’t have a nutcracker at the ready.

P for photography

Not just a pretty face, the cameras on this phone are the real main attraction, just like in most phones in Huawei’s P series.

With a slogan of “Vision Enlightened”, the USP of this phone is its 48MP Ultra Lighting Xmage Camera and 48MP Ultra Lighting Telephoto Camera.

Touted by the team as the “world’s first ultra lighting camera”, Huawei claims the phone has 191% more light intake compared to an iPhone 14 Pro Max. This means the camera should be able to perform wonderfully in low light conditions, perfect for nighttime photography.

We were able to put this to the test during Huawei’s media preview at Cielo KL, snapping away photos of the KL nightscape with ease, from ultra-wide shots to photos taken with 10x zoom. Naturally, the camera also performed well in the daytime.

With that said, having previously experienced Huawei’s Mate 50 Pro, the Huawei P60 Pro’s camera didn’t feel like a huge step up.

Night shots taken on the main camera night were great, but often not crisp when zoomed in. This is also true for its 48MP telephoto camera, especially when compared to the 64MP telephoto camera on the Huawei Mate 50 Pro.

I would say that the ultra lighting feature can be best appreciated in situations where the foreground is dark, but the background is bright.

The main camera has an F1.4 to F4.0 auto-adjustable physical aperture. Just like in the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, you can choose physical or virtual aperture when taking photos in the Aperture mode.

I much prefer the physical aperture over the virtual one, and it lets me take better photos of subjects such as our office foster cat, Cocoa, as the virtual aperture often creates a very unnatural silhouette of him.

Another plus is that the Huawei P60 Pro supports up to 4K at 60fps video recordings for both its rear and front cameras.

P for powerful?

Looking under the hood, the phone is built with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 4G Mobile Platform. Yep, it’s 2023, and still no 5G connectivity.

Other than that, the phone runs on Huawei’s own EMUI 13.1 operating system, and as usual, no Google services can be found.

The phone features an adaptive refresh rate that can go as low as 1Hz to 120Hz using LTPO (low-temperature Polycrystalline oxide) technology. This helps to reduce power consumption.

Speaking of power, the phone has a 4,815mAh battery and supports up to 88W wired SuperCharge, and 50W wireless SuperCharge.

According to Huawei, the phone can charge to 50% in 10 minutes. From our own testing, though, the phone only charged from empty to around 40% in 10 minutes, while charging to full in 40 minutes.

P for… price

Whether or not this phone is worth it is under question, as we still don’t know how much the Huawei P60 Pro will go for.

However, Huawei has shared that it’ll be hosting the P60 Pro’s launch on May 11, 2023, so will likely be revealed then.

During this launch, we’ll likely see other exciting devices from Huawei such as the Huawei Mate X3, Huawei WATCH Buds, Huawei WATCH Ultimate, and Huawei Freebuds 5—all of which we were also able to get a sneak peek of earlier this month.

  • Learn more about the Huawei P60 Pro here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Huawei here.

Huawei P60 Pro Review

The Huawei P-series of smartphones have always been their most photography-centric devices, hence the P in P-series. These devices have always aimed to innovate and simplify what it means to take a still image from the cameras we always carry in our s — from Super Night Modes, Periscope lenses to massive sensors.

The question is, does the Huawei P60 Pro have what it takes to be the best still image camera king of 2023?

Design and Construction

Jumping into design, starting off with the rear, the Huawei P60 Pro exudes that premium feel in this Rococo Pearl colorway. Inspired by the 18th century Victorian Baroque movement, Huawei has created an industry first for pearl texture design.

Manufacturing this rear panel incorporated natural mineral pearl powder into the cast of the panel. From here, Huawei’s designers add a hand-crafted touch to each panel, making each Rococo Pearl rear one of a kind.

Out of the box it felt very sandblasted matte to the touch and in-person it does look very elegant.

Also found here is the main camera module that features Huawei’s XMAGE triple camera setup. From a design standpoint, I think it’s kind of quirky and looks like the mugshot of a Koala.

For I/O, found on the right side of the P60 Pro is the volume rocker and red-accented power button. On top is one of two stereo speakers, a noise-cancelling mic for speaker calls, and an infrared sensor so you can turn your phone into a remote control for your home appliances.

At the bottom is the hybrid dual nano SIM card tray, mic for regular calls, USB Type-C (3.1) charging port, and the second of the two stereo speakers.

The device has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance up to a depth of 1.5 meters for as long as 30 minutes.

Overall the build feels superb. Going against that flat-side trend for smartphones in 2023, the P60 Pro feels a little refreshing in a novel and charming way. It’s stainless steel frame feels great to grip, and its slender form factor feels nice to

Display, Multimedia and Biometrics

For display, the Huawei P60 Pro features a 6.67-inch QHD (1220 x 2700) LTPO OLED panel that has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. It has an adaptive refresh rate so the panel can lower its refresh rate down to 1Hz when in idle to save on battery life.

It’s also protected by Kunlun Glass which features a 5-star glass drop resistance from the SGS at Switzerland. Because of this the P60 Pro’s drop resistance is increased 10-fold.

first, impressions, world, ultra, lighting, phone

Overall this is really nice panel, perfect for consuming media and even some productivity work.

With Huawei’s X-True display in the works, colors-accuracy looks great and, out of the box, the display color profile is set to its Normal mode for the best accuracy in sRGB or DCI-P3. We can set things to vivid if you want a more vibrant look, and even adjust color temperature.

Consuming media and playing games on this panel look stunning and what really steals the show here are its dual stereo speaker setup.

Sound stage for a smartphone is excellent, we get clear separations from lows to highs. In our testing, we noticed the top earpiece speaker produces most of the highs and mids, with the bottom-firing ones for the lows.

In a nutshell, the listening experience on this device is “I have a Bluetooth speaker for a phone” levels, especially in max volume.

For biometric security, we get an optical finger scanner and face unlock; all from components right under the display.

The fingerprint scanner feels quick but isn’t the quickest in-display scanner we’ve experienced, although it is undoubtedly very reliable and accurate.

Face unlock on the other hand also works as one would expect it too, but I’ve left it turned off for the fingerprint scanner is still more convenient and secure. In pitch-black lighting conditions, your results may vary.

Cameras

Going into the P60 Pro’s crown jewels — the camera system.

The Huawei P60 Pro features their Ultra Lighting XMAGE triple camera setup in the rear that features a 48MP RYYB main sensor with a variable aperture of f/1.4 to f/4.0 that features Phase Detection AF, Laser AF, and OIS.

This allows end-users to achieve a natural looking shallow depth of field when the aperture is wide open.

Followed by the 48MP RYYB periscopic telephoto sensor with an aperture of f/2.1 that also features OIS and serves as the 3.5x zoom.

This telephoto sensor is very special, as it takes in about 178% more light compared to its competitors, allowing us to capture rich detail even in low-lighting conditions.

And last but not the least is the 13MP RYYB ultra-wide sensor with an aperture of f/2.2; For Gen Z selfies, landscape shots, Architecture.

In front, the P60 Pro features a 13MP ultra-wide sensor with an aperture of f/2.4 as its in-display selfie camera.

Taking stills on the main camera system is amazing. The power of AI processing just gets better and better, especially Huawei’s!

Taking photos (not in portrait mode) at 3.5x in the default photo mode have been our favorite from this device.

This is because of how the sensor was designed to take in more light; Portraits of people, animals, and flowers look very sharp with great detail even in low-lighting conditions. Some of our samples from the telephoto sensor make us feel like we took them using a DSLR camera, processed through Luminar Ai.

What’s also amazing about this sensor is that it can take macro photos, from a distance!

That’s right, utilizing the same periscopic telephotos sensor, we can also capture macro imagery. You can do this by going into 10x zoom or more up to 100x digital.

Another way to make the most out of macro is to physically move the phone closer or further from the tiny subject in 10x or higher, enabling you to find the best focusing distance for macro photography. A preview window at the top left of the screen appears to help show the user how cropped in they are compared to its 1x focal length.

The XMAGE AI processing that runs things in the background is very well-tuned. A nifty thing it does is it corrects warped ultrawide shots right away which we liked.

But this doesn’t mean we do not turn it off from time to time for variation. Sometimes it can tweak the captured image a little too much, making it appear a bit too “contrasty” to our liking.

To quickly solve this preferential conflict, we quickly turn Master AI off and take a second shot.

Night mode is still here and years after the P20 Pro, it’s still very good. We do only reserve this mode for something that appears to be in complete darkness, as the processing of low-light photos in auto mode can still brighten up a dark image a lot.

For selfies, utilizing an ultrawide sensor is genius! Especially when they have the post-processing power to match.

Overall, the versatility this camera system brings, really impresses me when it comes to smartphone photography. I’ve even used this very device for taking editorial photos.

For video, the P60 Pro allows users to shoot in 4K at 30/60 fps, and FHD from 30 to 960 fps (slow-mo). Obviously missing is the 8K @ 24fps that we’d expect from flagship phones. Shooting video also features gyro electronic image stabilization.

OS, Apps, UI

On the software side of things, P60 Pro units in our local shores will be running on EMUI 13.1, while China units run on Harmony OS 3.1

Something we found cool about EMUI 13.1 were its ease-of-use features like holding onto the swipe back gesture to open a side panel where you can keep your most frequently used apps, and double-pressing on the volume down button to quick-launch the camera app.

And overall it’s my favorite interface from a Chinese smartphone manufacturer!

We don’t get the creature comforts I’m used to but this interface offers alternatives that work. Installing my most frequently used apps has also been quite painless even without Google’s Play Store services!

I’m also a fan of the wellbeing features like the BatteryCare optimization features. And never did I feel any hiccups using multitasking features like picture-in-picture or split-screen.

To flip the board, what I’m not such a fan of is ads in the AppGallery, and I get that we need to utilize GBox for apps like or Messenger but there still seems to be some issue with messaging apps that need it. Notifications and updates do not come in until you open the app! And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this could be a cause for concern for when you need to reply to messages quickly.

Nonetheless, through time this should hopefully be a non-issue in the future.

Performance and Benchmarks

For hardware, running the show behind the P60 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4nm) chipset that features an octa-core processor and Adreno 730 GPU. This variant of the chipset was specifically manufactured by Qualcomm for Huawei, sans the 5G modem.

Our review unit comes configured with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 internal storage with support for storage expansion of up to 256GB with the use of a nano memory (NM) card.

In real-world use, never did I experience any hiccups or lags when playing most games, like Mobile Legends and Asphalt 9.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset doesn’t feature 5G connectivity so if that’s what you wanted from a smartphone, you might have to look elsewhere.

For those interested in synthetic benchmark scores, check them out below:

Device:P60 Pro

Battery and Connectivity

For battery, powering the P60 Pro is a 4,815mAh Li-Po cell with support for 88W SuperCharge Turbo. It can charge the device to 50% in about 10 minutes which we have found is as advertised.

It also features 50W wireless charging with support for reverse-wireless charging at 7.5W.

In our proprietary battery loop test which entails the device’s brightness to be set to 50%, audio muted, and Airplane mode turned on, the P60 Pro lasted 17 hours and 13 minutes.

Overall battery life on this device is within range of other Pro flagships of this caliber, but it isn’t the best across the board. In real world use, having that ultra-quick 88W Turbo charge is a pretty good trade-off.

I also noticed the rear of the device would warm up (though it normally happens on most smartphones with prolonged use) when using that amazing XMAGE telephoto sensor.

Conclusion

Its unique design, great sounding speakers, and superb camera system are all enticing reasons for why anyone should own this smartphone. It may not have the biggest battery in its segment but having a very very quick charger more than makes up for it.

Is it the still image camera king of 2023? At the time of this writing, definitely.

With a suggested retail price of PHP 58,999 (8GB RAM|265GB ROM), and PHP 68,999 (12GB RAM|512GB ROM) the Huawei P60 Pro continues to be a strong flagship offering.

For those of you interested in the P60 Pro, it’s available at Huawei’s official website.

  • Triple XMAGE camera system (DSLR-quality still image capabilities).
  • Stereo Speakers (Great separation and clarity).
  • Overall design and build quality (Kunlun Glass is TOUGH).
  • 88W SuperCharge Turbo
  • No 5G connectivity, just 4G/LTE.
  • In-display optical fingerprint scanner (there are faster ones out there).
  • AppGallery advertisements.
  • Messaging apps that need GBox only update when they are opened.

Huawei P60 Pro specs: 6.67-inch OLED LTPO, 2700 x 1220 pixels, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate Kunlun Glass Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 4G Adreno 730 GPU 8GB LPDDR5 RAM 256GB, 512GB UFS 4.0 internal storage 4G/LTE, dual-SIM 48MP main camera, f/1.4-4.0, OIS 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide 48MP telephoto, f/2.1, 3.5x optical zoom, 100x digital zoom, OIS XMAGE Imaging 4K @ 30fps, 60fps 13MP, f/2.4 front camera Fingerprint sensor IP68 dust and water resistance EMUI 13.1.4,815mAh Li-Po battery, 88W wired, 50W wireless Feather Sand Purple, Feather Sand Black, Emerald Green, Limited Edition Rococo White

Huawei P60 Series Launched, Great Specs but Not Too Impressed

Chinese tech giant, Huawei is still growing stronger, even in the midst of multiple blows from United States and other countries. The company has promised to stay in the smartphone business and are still in business. Let’s face the fact, Huawei is well known for making one of the best phones out there, even after the ban. Today, the company has launched the flagship Huawei P60 Series which come with a lot to discuss.

Huawei is one of the most innovative smartphone makers in the industry. The company always comes with something new in each flagship it launches. The Huawei P60 series come with some great specifications and features. However, one or two areas of the phone may be quite disappointing.

The phones came in three different variants, P60, P60 Pro and P60 Art. The fact that all three devices featured the old Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 4G will disappoint a lot of users. Especially in this era where almost every manufacturer is going in for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It is understood that Huawei would like to reserve that for the Mate 60 series since the company usually launches the mate series with the latest chip.

In as much as many would be disappointed by this, there are other key features that are quite exciting. A notable example is the Kunlun Glass that Huawei has placed on all three models. The Kunlun Glass has cemented its name as one of the strongest glasses you can find on any smartphone today. Far stronger than the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 used in the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.

Specs of The Huawei P60 Series

All three models come with a 6.7-inch LTPO OLED display with a resolution of 1220 x 2700px. The display also has support of HDR10 and 120Hz refresh rate. All three phones come with under display fingerprint scanners as well.

Also, all three models come with triple rear cameras with 48MP main sensors in them. One great thing about the main sensor is the availability of variable aperture. It comes with f/1.4-f/4.0 ten-speed variable aperture which can switch automatically based on the scene. This helps the phone capture the right amount of light depending on the environmental conditions. The main camera also supports 4K video recording.

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The camera differences begin to show up when you shift FOCUS to the other two sensors. The vanilla P60 and the pro model come with 13MP ultrawide sensor while the P60 Art comes with a 40MP ultrawide sensor. Nonetheless, all three ultrawide lenses come with aperture of f/2.2.

With the Telephoto lenses, the P60 features a 12MP sensor with f/3.4 aperture, Optical Image Stabilization and 125mm lens. On the other hand, the Pro model with its Art counterpart feature a more advanced 48MP Telephoto lenses with OIS and 90mm lens. These also have the ability to perform up to 3.5x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom.

The 48MP Telephoto lens features an aperture of f/2.1, this should technically allow the devices to take better night shots than other competitors on the market. Huawei has even made a bold statement about this. It says that the 48MP Telephoto lens on the P60 Pro and the P60 Art can capture the largest amount of light in the smartphone industry. This sensor also features a 3-axis stabilization which will allow for improved image stabilization.

Another great thing about the camera of the Huawei P60 series is the XD Fusion Pro texture engine from Huawei. This feature tries to reproduce textures of images to look very closer to what the human eye sees.

Oh, and all three models come with the 2-way satellite feature. This means you can send and receive Beidou satellite messages on all three devices. Sadly, this feature is only limited to the Chinese market, at least for now.

Other Specs of the Huawei P60 Series

The Huawei P60 and the pro model come with 4,815mAh battery packs. The Vanilla model features a 66W fast charging while the P60 Pro features 88W fast wired charging. Both devices come with support for 50W wireless charging as well.

The P60 Art on the other hand features a larger battery pack of 5,100mAh which is a silicon-carbon battery instead of Lithium-ion batteries in the other two. You also get Huawei’s latest Harmony OS.3.1 out of the box and IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.

In terms of color options, the Huawei P60 series come in Feather Purple, Feather Black, Emerald Green. You also get a Rococo White color which is a limited edition. The P60 Art edition also comes with its own dual color options. We have Blue Sea and Quicksand Gold colors.

Pricing and Availability of the Huawei P60 Series

The standard P60 comes with a starting price of CNY 4,488 (657) for the base 128GB version and moves up to CNY 5,988 (877) for the 512GB model.

The P60 Pro comes with a starting price of CNY 6,988 (1,023) for the 256GB model and CNY 7,988 (1,170) for the 512GB version.

The P60 Art comes in two storage options with of CNY 8,988 (1,316) for the 512GB version and CNY10,980 (1,610) for the 1TB version.

The Huawei P60 and the P60 Pro will officially go on sale in China on the 30th of March 2023. The Art edition will also be ready for sale from 7th of April. Huawei will communicate international pricing and availability later.

Huawei’s new flagship camera phone makes me want to drop my mirrorless camera

If you’re looking for a great camera phone, Huawei is still associated with the best in the business. Its latest flagship phone, the Huawei P60 Pro, has finally left China and landed on European and other global shorelines. I got my hands on it and have been putting the camera through its paces.

While the mighty Pixels and Galaxys might garner more mainstream attention for best all-around phones, is the Huawei P60 Pro still worthy of the attention and, perhaps, even hard-earned cash of photography obsessives? Let’s find out.

Huawei’s reputation as a photography powerhouse earns fresh endorsement with the P60 Pro. The phone’s impressive low light, zoom, and manual mode features match and even go beyond what you’ll find with other highly regarded photography-focused smartphones. If you’re serious about mobile photography and want a smartphone that won’t disappoint you, the Huawei P60 PRO should be on your shortlist.

About this Huawei P60 Pro review: I tested the Huawei P60 Pro for 10 days. The unit was provided by Huawei, but the company had no say in the published content.

Huawei P60 Pro: A camera with a phone attached

Perhaps with the exception of Sony, Huawei dives deeper than any other smartphone brand when it comes to the finer details of mobile photography. Curating a high-end photography package isn’t just about the megapixel count or Smart algorithms. After all, there are subtleties in sensor technologies like pixel setup and autofocus, picking camera focal lengths that provide flexibility across a range of zoom levels rather than just long range, and wrapping that all up in software that helps photographers be creative without getting in the way.

This year’s flagship model continues to make use of an RYYB (rather than traditional RGB) main sensor, complete with a 48MP resolution, OIS, wide 25mm focal length, and a variable aperture between f/1.4 and f/4.0. Likewise, a similar 48MP RYYB sensor is found in the 3.5x periscope zoom camera, which includes sensor-shift OIS, a wide f/2.1 aperture, and a 90mm focal length.

Huawei P60 Pro camera f/1.4 aperture

Huawei P60 Pro camera f/4.0 aperture

Rounding out the package is a 13MP ultrawide camera with an f/2.2 aperture and incredibly broad 13mm focal length. The selfie snapper is a 13MP affair with another very wide field of view. You’ll have seen a similar, but not quite identical, setup in last year’s Huawei Mate 50 Pro. It’s not a completely revolutionary formula, but Huawei has perfected this setup over the last few years into one of the industry’s most potent formulas.

first, impressions, world, ultra, lighting, phone

The hardware is just the beginning, though. Huawei’s XMAGE algorithms power Night Vision telephoto photography, super-resolution zoom, and portrait features that rely on computational photography. Open up Huawei’s camera app and you’re greeted with six camera tabs and a further 14 additional modes under the “” tab. While most of these comprise the familiar photo, portrait, video, and night settings found on most phones, the camera experience really opens up in the Pro mode.

Here you’ll find options for ISO, white balance selection, 48MP RAW image output, and the phone’s variable aperture control that give advanced photographers full control over the look of their pictures. We could spend ages diving through all these various options, but let’s see what the Huawei P60 Pro can do out of the box.

Huawei P60 Pro camera review: The only camera you’ll ever need?

As we’ve come to expect from Huawei, the P60 Pro excels at daylight photography, no matter which lens you’re shooting with. Photo colors are a little punchy but not overly so, making them great for pushing straight to social media. Importantly, for a smartphone camera, there are minimal signs of noise and the over-sharpening pass isn’t too heavy. Details hold up quite well on closer inspection, although there are signs of Huawei’s powerful processing algorithms if you look closer. You’ll occasionally see motion artifacts and high-contrast edges, meaning fine details aren’t as naturally soft as a DSLR. Not that this detracts from the phone’s capabilities at all.

HDR and low light photography are a particular highlight with the main lens. Whether shooting into a bright light or dealing with virtual darkness, the P60 Pro always grabs an exposed picture and you’ll rarely, if ever, need to reach for the phone’s Night mode. That said, the phone’s ability to pull a picture out of utter darkness means your photos won’t always look realistic. See the sky in the nighttime example above. My one complaint with the setup would be that shadows are sometimes overexposed, resulting in slightly flat images. Thankfully, that’s a rarity; the phone usually pulls out some stunning contrast, as you can see in the sunset shots above.

A quick note on the main camera’s variable aperture. In the default Photo mode, the P60 Pro handles aperture switching automatically. It’s usually set to a narrow aperture around f/4.0, switching to f/1.4 and pairing with details from the ultrawide lens when switching to “super macro” mode (oddly, the manual super macro option uses the 3.5x camera). You can manually move between the aperture values in the camera’s Aperture and Pro settings. This feature is most useful at ensuring macro and group photos are entirely in FOCUS. It’s a very nifty feature that more smartphones, especially those with larger image sensors, should draw inspiration from.

The 3.5x periscope zoom camera is another star of the show. Thanks to XMAGE frame fusion, this single focal length can capture impressive levels of detail at 5x, 7x, 10x, and even beyond. One shot below goes all the way out to 20x, which is just a bit further than the phone’s software upscaling can handle well. I’d hesitate to push it any further, so forget about the phone’s 100x capabilities. The only drawback of Huawei’s processing algorithms is that you can sometimes spot ghosting artifacts from multi-frame processing, particularly with moving subjects. Otherwise, the zoom camera’s color reproduction, HDR, and white balance are all very close to the main sensor, ensuring robust photo consistency as you zoom in.

On closer analysis, the 10x shots are comparable with the physical hardware of Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra and the clever sensor cropping of the Pixel 7 Pro. Cropping in on 10x images, you’ll find a reasonably similar level of detail, with optical zoom taking a nudge in good lighting and Huawei’s technology holding up better in dimmer light. That’s thanks to the zoom lens’ large aperture and RYYB sensor, which, combined with Huawei’s impressive HDR capabilities, produces a much more consistent exposure than I achieved with either of the two comparison phones. It’s rare to see a zoom camera that performs so well across a wide variety of difficult lighting conditions. The only other example I can recall is the OPPO Find X6 Pro — but you sadly can’t buy that outside of China.

Google Pixel 7 Pro. 3.5x zoom

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. 3.5x zoom

first, impressions, world, ultra, lighting, phone

Google Pixel 7 Pro. 10x zoom

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. 10x zoom

I’m less sold on the phone’s ultrawide capabilities. Although you’ll find similar color and exposure capabilities as the main camera, the fine details are less well preserved. You’re more likely to see clipping from the sensor’s weaker HDR capabilities, and the white balance is far warmer than the main sensor. Hence, color reproduction across all lenses isn’t brilliant. But my biggest gripe is the visible perspective distortion from the ultrawide field of view. There are clear areas of blurring at the photo’s edges and even a good third or more into the shot, and you’ll easily spot Huawei’s chromatic aberration correction algorithm attempting to fix haloing around high-contrast edges. The results still look good in general but can’t match the finer levels of quality available from the phone’s two other rear sensors.

Portraits and selfies are a mixed bag too. The camera app’s Portrait mode ramps up the punch in bright lighting, pumping up the exposure and contrast that, while pleasing looking in many scenarios, can result in shadows and oversaturated skin tones that you typically want to avoid with portrait photography. That said, pictures come out great with softer lighting, such as indoor environments, providing soft yet realistic skin textures and flattering tones, even without using Huawei’s various beautification filters. Bokeh blur and edge detection are rock solid and portrait photos generally come out looking really good, particularly when using the 3.5x mode.

Sadly, the selfie snapper has an unfathomably wide field of view. While nice for fitting more in your pictures, this wide focal length leaves faces looking too narrow and distorted. Annoyingly, you can’t enable bokeh blur on the portrait camera without switching it to its 1x mode (it defaults to 0.8x), which seems to defeat the point of switching to this mode. When you finally enable this feature, the edge detection is nowhere near as good as the rear camera’s mode, cutting aggressively around stray hairs and edges. Perhaps that’s why the feature is so difficult to find. Small issues, to be sure, but ones that stick out when compared to the far better photography capabilities of the rear camera.

In terms of video, the P60 Pro supports 4K at up to 60fps in the main and telephoto lenses but taps out at 4K 30fps using the ultrawide. Beautification and filters are further limited to just 1080p 30fps, and Huawei’s powerful HDR capabilities only work at 30fps, regardless of resolution. Video stabilization is robust, thanks to a combination of OIS and software stabilization, but is perhaps a little too resistant when jumping into a sharp pan. There are a few limitations, then, in terms of features and resolution, but the overall video package includes all the essential features and more, plus looks every bit as good as the camera.

One or two blemishes aside, the Huawei P60 Pro camera is more than capable; it’s a true photography powerhouse. We’d need more time for side-by-side comparisons but have every confidence that this phone can go toe to toe with the best smartphone cameras, including the Pixel 7 Pro, Galaxy S23 Ultra, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. If you don’t want the bulk of carrying around a mirrorless, the P60 Pro is also versatile enough to be a pretty viable alternative to entry-level models.

What about the Huawei P60 Pro as a phone?

I’ve not forgotten that Huawei P60 Pro is a phone too, so let’s rattle through the pros and cons of daily use.

First up, it’s a true flagship handset in areas far beyond the camera package. The 120Hz LTPO OLED panel is ultra-responsive, hitting 120Hz in virtually every app I tested, only lowering the refresh rate to 60Hz when you stop interacting with the screen. It’s great to look at too. Not everyone will love the curved glass edges, but it makes the 6.67-inch panel easier to use in one hand and complements the otherwise premium build quality. With an IP68 rating, Huawei’s Kunlun Glass protection, and a stunning pattern design on the Rococo Pearl version we reviewed, this phone certainly looks and feels like an ultra-premium smartphone.

Charging is equally top-of-the-line. An intriguing bundled charger includes a USB-A port with 88W proprietary SuperCharge and a USB-C port with 45W USB Power Delivery to help power your tablets and laptops. The Huawei P60 Pro takes just 35 minutes to fully charge using SuperCharge. It offers the option of speedy 50W wireless charging too.

Meanwhile, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, while not absolutely cutting edge, blazes through every app and game I threw at it. We have some reservations about the phone’s stress testing capabilities; it’s perhaps not the most reliable gaming partner for protracted sessions, but we have no complaints otherwise.

But that leads us to the main drawback: no Google Mobility Services. Yes, you’ll have heard that one before; the lack of Google Play Store and familiar apps is a well-established fact of life in the Huawei ecosystem these days. Some might be able to live without it, but I still can’t say that AppGallery is fleshed out enough to be a complete alternative, despite Huawei’s claims of ever-increasing developer support.

For instance, I could find only one of my four banking apps to install. Likewise, I had to grab WhatsApp, Spotify, and other APKs from third-party services, which is hardly the experience you would expect at this premium price point. Especially if you want to play the latest games without jumping through hoops.

That said, AppGallery isn’t completely bereft of software, with Tidal, Telegram, Opera, and others natively available. Petal Maps is also a fine alternative to Google Maps, but I could do without all the other pre-installed bloatware suggestions that took an age to remove. Still, I’m mostly delighted that the ad and notification spam that plagued last year’s model is now virtually eradicated, making the general EMUI experience much more enjoyable. The P50 Pro’s software experience was frankly horrible, so it’s great to see Huawei taking the feedback onboard and making the necessary changes for the P60 Pro.

Unfortunately, EMUI 13.1 remains based on AOSP API 31 (think Android 12). We also don’t have a firm update commitment from Huawei, which isn’t reassuring when you can secure five years of support from an increasing number of Android brands.

Author

Kerariel

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