Huawei P40 Pro could come with five rear cameras, but will it beat the Galaxy S11?

The Huawei P30 Pro camera array
(Image credit: Future)

Arguably, the most anticipated part of the upcoming Huawei P40 series is its picture-taking capabilities - the Huawei P series has consistently offered top-tier camera phones, and a new leak suggests the Pro model will come with five rear cameras, one up on the P30 Pro.

The leak comes from (what looks like) an official poster for the upcoming phone, shared by Chinese site ITHome. It shows the name of the P40 Pro device in Huawei's house style, along with the Leica logo (another staple of Huawei P-series adverts), as well as a glimpse at the rear of the handset.

This rear shows five cameras – one's likely a periscope lens (it's square, a common shape for previous such lenses), which will likely be for the rumored 10x optical zoom in the camera to send the light vertically up to the camera sensor.

The other four sensors look identical to one another. That means there are no tiny lenses, which have previously been depth sensors or Time-of-Flight (ToF) cameras, although that doesn't mean there isn't one on the forthcoming Huawei P40 Pro. In fact, ITHome states one will be ToF.

So what are these cameras? Rumors suggest the main one is a 64MP snapper from Sony, with a 20MP sensor with ultra-wide lens, 12MP sensor with periscope lens (as just mentioned), a ToF camera and a new macro lens, although we don't know what sensor that'll be paired with.

The new camera here, one that wasn't on the P30 Pro, is the macro camera and that's understandable since a few new phones have emerged packing the close-up capability - and Huawei loves to have all the latest features in its cameras. 

It's used to take good close-up pictures of small objects, but we haven't seen it used very effectively on many smartphones so far - it will be interesting to see if Huawei can change that.

It would seem, then, that the Huawei P40 Pro could be the best smartphone of the year for photography – but the leaked specs of the Samsung Galaxy S11 will give the P40 Pro some serious competition.

How will it compare to the Samsung Galaxy S11?

Rumors suggest the Samsung Galaxy S11 will come with a 108MP main camera, a resolution higher than the 64MP of the Huawei P40 Pro.

The Galaxy S11 zoom camera is said to be 48MP, far higher-res than the 12MP on the P40 Pro. Saying that, the Samsung phone is only supposed to have 5x optical zoom, not quite the 10x that Huawei is expected to be able to manage.

We haven't heard much about the Samsung Galaxy S11's expected ultra-wide and other cameras, although we're expecting the S11 Plus to have five cameras and base S11 to have four. 

So the Huawei P40 could win out with these other snappers, but they're arguably less important than the main and zoom cameras.

Bear in mind that both the Samsung Galaxy S11 and Huawei P40 Pro specs are purely rumor and speculation at the moment, and could end up being incorrect, but the camera capabilities we've cited are backed up by numerous leaks and suggestions, so they're not just randomly-selected numbers.

We'll know for sure what the camera specs for both devices are: the Samsung Galaxy S11 is expected to launch in February 2020, with the Huawei P40 series to follow in March, and when both are out, and we've had time to test them, we'll know for certain which the best smartphone camera is.

Via GSMArena

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.