In short: Huawei published a new teaser for its Mate 20 lineup, essentially confirming a number of recent leaks suggesting its upcoming Android flagships will have an entirely new, unique triple-camera arrangement. The image seen above is indicative of a two-by-two grid consisting of three lenses and a dual-LED flash unit, with the teaser itself unsurprisingly promising the device will improve on the best-in-class photography experience offered by the P20 Pro, the world’s first mainstream smartphone with a three-camera system. The Mate 20 series will be officially announced at a dedicated product event taking place in London on October 16.
Background: The rear panel of the Mate 20 Pro already leaked on several occasions, with all of its sightings pointing to the same camera arrangement that has the flash unit positioned in the top-left corner of the aforementioned square module. Huawei will likely stick with the basic hardware formula introduced with the P20 Pro, meaning consumers should expect one telephoto lens, one monochrome sensor, and one high-resolution module for extra-large images. In the case of the P20 Pro, that sensor was a 40-megapixel affair, with recent benchmark listings suggesting the Mate 20 Pro may push that resolution up to 42 megapixels. As the handset is also set to be powered by the new Kirin 980 chip from Huawei’s semiconductor arm HiSilicon, it should also be much more capable at automatic scene recognition and other artificial intelligence applications given how the new SoC ships with two neural processing unit instead of just one found inside the Kirin 970 which powered the P20 and Mate 10 families.
Impact: Huawei is likely to retain the mobile photography crown with the Mate 20 and won’t be seriously challenged until Samsung releases the Galaxy S10 line in the first quarter of 2019. The company’s success with the early commercialization of triple-camera setups is now understood to have accelerated a trend that will see virtually every major manufacturer release such solutions over the course of next year and beyond.