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Huawei Mate 40 Pro touted to feature a "freeform" lens for improved ultra-wide-angle camera performance

Leaked image of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. (Source: @RODENT950)
Leaked image of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. (Source: @RODENT950)
Huawei uses a massive 1/1.54" sensor on its ultra-wide-angle shooters, but has been unable to pair it with a lens that can provide an industry-competitive field of view. Things are expected to change with the upcoming Mate 40 Pro, however, as a new leak claims the phone will sport a new, innovative lens type.

Huawei's mobile business has been stunted by the company's inability to use Google Services, but the company isn't looking to quit anytime soon. The Huawei P40 series was launched earlier this month, and a new leak has now given us our first look at Huawei's next flagship phone, the Mate 40 Pro.

Going by the leak, shared by popular leakster @RODENT950, the Mate 40 Pro will debut a new camera lens type. The phone is shown sporting what is obviously a periscope lens—a zoom lens that debuted in the smartphone market with the P30 Pro last year. The lens beside it is the interesting one, though, as it seems to be yet another periscope lens but isn't.

Reports from a few weeks ago claimed that Huawei would use a "freeform" lens. That's likely what that second lens is. A freeform lens is said to aid in reducing wide-angle distortion and offers a slimmer design. While Huawei uses the biggest sensors on its wide-angle shooters, that has come at the expense of a wider field of view. 

Like with the Mate 30 Pro, Huawei implements a large and high-resolution image sensor (40MP 1/1.54″) in its ultra-wide camera, which combined with a fast f/1.8 lens, should make for excellent low-light image quality. The downside of such a large sensor in the ultra-wide is lens design. It’s a challenge to design a lens that provides a very wide angle of view and still fits into the thin body of a high-end smartphone. This is why Huawei settled on a compromise at 18mm, which is noticeably wider than the main camera, but not as wide as that of some competitors, such as the latest Samsung devices and iPhones, which offer 12mm and 13mm lenses, respectively.

- DxOMark, Huawei P40 Pro Review

A freeform lens will likely allow Huawei to increase the field of view of its ultra-wide-angle shooter to more competitive levels.

The Mate 40 Pro is likely to be powered by the Kirin 1020. The next-gen SoC is expected to be built on TSMC's 5nm manufacturing process, and could feature Cortex-A78 cores.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Huawei Mate 40 Pro touted to feature a "freeform" lens for improved ultra-wide-angle camera performance
Ricci Rox, 2020-04-28 (Update: 2020-04-28)