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While most makers are coming up with all sorts of different dual camera setups, Huawei figured that's no longer enough and fitted three on the back of the P20 Pro. But 3 is not the number that's captivated us most; rather, it's 40 - the P20 Pro comes with a 40MP primary camera.
The last time a sensor with this many pixels was put in a smartphone, at least a mainstream one, was the Lumia 1020, still in the old Nokia's days. The 1020 had a 41MP multi aspect sensor, capable of taking 38MP 4:3 stills.
Well, as luck would have it, we have one such Lumia lying around, in full working order. So we did the only logical thing, fired up the five-year-old 1020 and took it for a walk around the park alongside the brand new Huawei P20 Pro.
We bet you saw that coming. Now, since the P20 Pro has a couple of extra megapixels, we cropped its images to match the Lumia's 38MP, so the resolution doesn't immediately reveal what's what. We also stripped the photos of their EXIF data, for obvious reasons.
We've provided crops for side-by-side viewing, and there are also the full-size images underneath if you want to look around.
First up, the snail scene. 1:1 crops from 38MP end up pretty tight, but there's detail to be resolved on the snail's head and there's also some foliage behind it.
Next comes the modern-day castle with its clock not getting its own clock tower. We figured we'd at least make it the star of our crops.
Moving on to the iPhone on the side of a building - the stucco providing a lot of detail for pixel peepers to stare at.
Scene 4 gives us a close look at some wall shingles, while the lettering can be a real pain for cameras with narrower dynamic range.
And last, the window blinds. 12MP cameras struggle with resolving the true patterns at this distance, and we were hoping that 40MP ones will do better. Well, not quite.
Go ahead and cast your votes depending on which phone you think has done a better job with each scene. You'll have a day to do that, and we'll be revealing the results (and the phones) tomorrow.
They can't, they bundled 4 of the same color filter together to make downsampling to 10MP easier, therefore color resolution is greatly reduced and what you're seeing is intense interpolation and then sharpening. You could see from Gsmarena's lab sam...
The artifacts introduced by the "quad-bayer" makes post-processing impossible, also the CA across the frame is hugely problematic. The P20 only wins resized to FHD-2K, when you retain the resolution you're supposed to look into it, and there it loses...
Indeed, it's between the S9+ and Pixel2XL, the XZ2 has too much sharpening, and what's funny is the P20Pro loses in detail to all the above three in 40MP mode, even at base ISO. The 40MP mode is really good for nothing.