Huawei P9 Leica Dual Camera Module Explained in Simple Terms

Last April 6, 2016, Chinese electronics giant Huawei formally unveiled its latest flagship Android smartphone simply called P9.

As expected, the handset represents the absolute best that the company to offer in terms of aesthetics, construction, and set of technical specifications in this category this year -- but it has that one stellar feature that greatly sets it apart from its main competitors in the market.

Huawei P9 sports a Dual Sensor Camera Module at the back that's been co-engineered and approved by imaging legend, Leica. For those who are not familiar with this acclaimed German company, Leica could very well be the most respected and most prestigious camera brand in the world.

Here's what Mr. Richard Yu, CEO of the Huawei Consumer BG had to say about their landmark alliance with Leica, “We choose our partners carefully, and with this extraordinary collaboration we are offering our wide customer base and consumers the best elements of two expert brands in harmony: combining innovation and design, enhancing the user experience and continuing to inspire amazing advancement in human technology through exceptional premium imaging quality. Leica is a legend in the world of photography; we believe no other manufacturer has revolutionized the industry as much as them. We, Huawei, take the utmost pride in exceptional quality and Leica is in a class of its own in its sector.”

Huawei P9

Mr. Oliver Kaltner - CEO of Leica Camera AG, on the other hand, shared, “The strategic alliance between HUAWEI and Leica Camera demonstrates the desire of two rapidly growing and globally active brands to continuously push the envelope of the technologically possible. In addition to innovative strength and premium standards, our two companies are united by the commitment to uncompromising quality. The technology partnership with Huawei offers Leica Camera an excellent opportunity to introduce its proven optical expertise into a new product segment and to unlock exciting business areas in the field of mobile devices. Smartphones make a very important contribution to the world of photography and open an important door for Leica to new target groups and fields of application.” [source]

Following the announcement of Huawei P9, some of you guys messaged me on Facebook, asking about what exactly makes the phone's Leica Summarit H 1:2.2/27 ASPH dual camera module special.

To be honest, I can't claim to be an imaging expert -- so here's what I'll do: I'll just try to explain how these two sensors work together to deliver excellent shots in the simplest way that I can. If you happen to know more about this handset's imaging capabilities, feel free to share with us your knowledge via our comments section below.

Alright. Let's do this.

The two camera sensors at the back both have 12 MegaPixel resolution. They also have the same size of 27mm and have similar f/2.2 aperture.

Now, here's how they are different: One takes shots in RGB or in color. The other snaps photos in monochrome or greyscale/black-and-white.

Note that Huawei didn't go for this kind of module simply because they want to dedicate the other sensor to just black and white photography. Instead, this set-up is aimed at delivering greater detail and more appealing contrast in every shot.

How so, you ask? Well, because it doesn't have to worry about the color of light that's coming in, the monochrome sensor captures more light and more details in every shot. According to Huawei, this allows P9's camera to capture up to a whopping 270% more light and details compared to Apple iPhone 6s' shooter.

I think it's genius. One sensor simply captures colors while the other only has to concern itself with details and shades.

The camera takes shots simultaneously from both optics and then combines the two images in a snap to give the user the best photos possible.

Another practical use of having two camera sensors is better handling of Depth of Field, which is great for taking shots with interesting 'bokeh' effects as shown in these sample images courtesy of Huawei.

Aided by the phone's Laser Autofocus technology that measures the time it takes for laser to reach the subject and to bounce back to the optics, Huawei P9 can better triangulate or pick out all possible subjects in every shot coming from two points of view -- similar to how the human eyes work.

With this set-up, you get the clearest details regardless of which subject you want to focus on in every shot. Whether its the object that's near to you or the one that's on the horizon, the dual optics make sure that every element is captured with utmost clarity.

Now, isn't that something?

Huawei P9

Huawei P9 is expected to be released in the company's key markets within this month, April 2016. Available in a number of colors - namely, Mystic Silver, Prestige Gold, Ceramic White, Haze Gold, Rose Gold, and Titanium Grey - the top-of-the-line handset is out in two variants: The 599 Euros model has 3GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM while the 649 Euros version comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM. Both variants are equipped with a 5.2-inch Full HD IPS-NEO display panel underneath Gorilla Glass 4 touchscreen, 8 MegaPixel f/2.4 selfie cam, non-removable 3,000 mAh Li-Ion battery pack, fingerprint scanner, optional Dual SIM, 4G LTE Cat6 support, and 64-Bit Octa Core HiSilicon Kirin 955 chipset.