Imminent availability of smartphone with genuine (not hybrid) 10x telephoto
From a background of modest 2.5x zoom with the Nokia 808 and Lumia 1020 through to the insane super-bulky Samsung Galaxy K Zoom to the hybrid periscope systems of today (Huawei P30/P40 Pro, OPPO Find X2, etc.), zooming into far off things - or just getting closer to modestly far off things - has been a long time goal in the phone camera world. And Huawei announced its P40 Pro+ (yes, those names...) a while back swapping the hybrid zoom out for a genuine 240mm equivalent 10x zoom system, involving five (count 'em) internal reflections. This P40 Pro+ is now imminent - at least in China. No doubt Europe will see this in due course and, of course, I'll try and get a review/comparison model.
From my original write-up:
The most insane thing in terms of imaging is the 10x optical zoom array in the P40 Pro+, here's the internal optical path:
So five internal reflections, two prisms, two optically stabilised reflectors? I've never seen anything so outrageous. As to how well it works, we'll find out in due course. It's a far cry from the old Nokia 808 and 1020 eh?(!)
The biggest downside of the new Huawei phones, of course, is that they don't have access to the Google Play Store or the likes of Google Maps, Google Pay, and so on. So you're effectively branching out into a 'third ecosystem'. Now where have I heard that term before?...
And from GSM Arena today:
Huawei's P40 and P40 Pro have been globally available since April, and the ultra premium P40 Pro+ is finally about to join them. Huawei have announced on its official Weibo channel that the P40 Pro+ will go on pre-order on June 1 and consequently go on sale in China on June 6. The flagship is priced CNY 7,988 (€1,020, INR 84,700, converted) for the 8/256GB and CNY 8,888 (€1,140, INR 94,200, converted) for the 8/512GB model.
The Huawei P40 Pro+ differs from the P40 Pro mainly in the camera department, where it has an 8MP 240mm equivalent (10x) periscope zoom lens, compared to the P40 Pro's 12MP 125mm (5x) periscope zoom lens. The P40 Pro+ also pushes for crazy 40W wireless charging as opposed to the 27W of the P40 Pro.
In case it's not entirely clear to you why the optical path is so complicated - I'm guessing that it's simply about optical path length, though the calibration of those mirrors and the stabilisation needed isn't trivial. Anyway, Huawei seems to be happy with the system, given the imminent availability in China.
Watch this space!
Published by Steve Litchfield at 13:28 UTC, May 26th