Huawei P series history: From humble beginnings to images powerhouse
Huawei is among the top-appearing smartphone brands today (despite the US trade ban), providing a good selection of gadgets for each price-point. But the firm's flagship phones have also earned accolades for camera prowess, battery life, and fast charging.It's been a long road to this point for the company though, as its flagship P series has advanced in a big way from its early days. We take a look at the history of the all-familiar Huawei P series ahead of the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro free up.VodacomThe Chinese brand had a big popularity for white-labeled budget contraptions when it determined to launch the Ascend P1 in 2012. It wasn't a very valuable device in comparison to contemporary phones back then, that includes a TI OMAP 4460 chipset (dual-core Cortex-A9), 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of expandable garage. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S3, introduced in a similar year, featured a quad-core chipset (quad-core A9), 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of expandable storage in the base model.Then again, the Ascend P1 was less expensive than the likes of the Galaxy S3.And you continue to got a good 4. 3-inch 960 x 540 OLED screen, and 8MP backside-illuminated main camera.Read: A definitive guide to everything that influences smartphone battery life
Probably the largest sadness was the tiny 1,670mAh battery. It would take Huawei a few generations to detect that many people didn't care about a brilliant-thin design if the phone's endurance suffered drastically.Clearly the Huawei Ascend P1 wasn't quite flagship-tier, but it landed in what we now know as the upper mid-range price bracket.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but got upgraded to Android 4. 2 Jelly Bean.
Huawei Ascend P6 (2013)
HuaweiThe next phone in the P-series was the Huawei Ascend P2 in 2013, but it was only for sale for a few months before the Chinese brand published the Ascend P6.Design was a huge focus for the P6, as the phone's chin wrapped across the bottom of the device to form a part of the back cover. Huawei compared this aesthetic to a folded up sheet of paper at the time, while also touting the thin design. It's just a pity that the skinny design meant we also saw a disappointing 2,000mAh battery.But the firm joined Sony and some others in providing battery saver capability just before stock Android, helping to squeeze a bit more juice out of the device.
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A smaller battery wasn't the only lamentable resolution made by Huawei in the name of design, as it chose to put the headphone port on the left-hand side of the telephone. Why it didn't opt to put the port at the top or bottom of the device, I'll never know. Anyway, this resolution meant you couldn't effectively keep the telephone in your pocket while hearing music.The device used a Huawei K3V2 processor that packed a decent level of power, featuring a quad-core Cortex-A9 design and a Vivante GC4000 GPU (yeah, I have no idea either). Toss in 2GB of RAM and 8GB or 16GB of garage and you have got a pretty capable platform for the time.It also stood out from competitors at the time because of a focus on selfies, packing a 5MP camera with beautification outcomes.EMUI critics would've had a field day with the Ascend P6, as the Emotion UI (as it was called then) still felt garish in lots of ways. Aside from the copious use of brown, silver, and Apple-style skeuomorphism, one bizarre addition I recall was the means to use weird shutter sounds, equivalent to a woman saying "click. " Yeah, you heard me. Nevertheless, it endured the trend of offering a stronger end but not quite flagship event at a discount.
Huawei Ascend P7 (2014)
Ascend P7 proved that the firm wasn't going any place, and stepped things up in a couple of key areas.Huawei continued to recognize the rage in opposition t selfie cameras, providing an 8MP camera on the front in a time when few other brands were doing so, for one.It also offered an amazing experience for the most part, offering a Kirin 910T processor along with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. The Kirin 910T was totally a few steps behind the Snapdragon 801 seen in other Android flagships though, and this functionality gap would persist for a few years yet.But the Ascend P7 validated flagship-level points in other areas, corresponding to a 13MP f/2. 0 main camera and a full HD IPS LCD screen. And again, the €350 price ticket made it a cut price in comparison to other high-end phones.
Huawei Ascend P7 fast facts:
- The Ascend P7 marked the first time we saw a Kirin-branded SoC in a P series flagship.
- Huawei tried really hard to make the word "groufie" happen, owing to the P7's panoramic selfie mode.
- It launched with Android 4. 4. 2 and was upgraded to Android 5. 1.
Huawei P8 (2015)
Huawei P8 certainly drew attention for its design back then. Featuring an aluminum body (albeit with a plastic camera window and iPhone-style antenna lines), a textured power button, and a delightful amount of heft, the P8 was completely easy on the eyes.Huawei's 2015 device also showed some outstanding functions in the camera field, being able to churning out Light Painting shots via the 13MP OIS-enabled camera.In fact, the 13MP camera used an RGBW color filter, as antagonistic to the classic RGB sensor. This sounds rather akin to the approach taken by Huawei for the P30 series.Read: Huawei P30 Pro review — A phone with superpowers
Other specs come with 3GB of RAM, 16GB or 64GB of expandable storage, a pointy 5. 2-inch FHD screen (IPS), a 2,680mAh battery, and an 8MP selfie snapper.The P8 was powered by Huawei's Kirin 930 and 935 processor, and regardless of Huawei's claims, it was totally towards mid-range silicon. Between the budget octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU cores and Mali-T628 MP4 graphics, it still had some way to go towards challenging Qualcomm and Samsung.
Huawei P8 fast facts:
- This marked the first Huawei P series flagship without "Ascend" in its name.
- Huawei debuted the P8 Lite alongside the P8, and we've seen Lite models along with the flagship ever since.
- Huawei also provided a P8 Max, delivering an even bigger battery and greater screen.
Huawei P9 series (2016)
P9 and P9 Plus. The agency developed the design here, still providing a unibody metal design with a "window" for the area around the rear camera. We also got some Apple-style antenna lines here, in addition to a fingerprint scanner for the 1st time in the series. This scanner also provided gestures, similar to the skill to swipe via photos or prompt the notification shade.Huawei went all-out on the images front though, enlisting camera agency Leica's help for lenses and processing, while being one of the first to provide dual rear cameras (a 12MP+12MP monochrome setup).The camera event evolved to offer monochrome photos, in addition to depth of field outcomes via simulated aperture changes.It all came together to make for a good photography platform in most circumstances, even though the lack of OIS was a obvious omission. Having used the phone as a daily driver for roughly a year, I also felt that it didn't quite have the same reliable fire-and-forget nature as Apple and Samsung devices.I also conception that video recording in low light was awful, even back then.Horsepower, which had long been the family's weakness, saw a big step up with the Kirin 955 processor. This SoC marked the first time we saw helpful Cortex cores in a Huawei flagship, providing four Cortex-A72 cores moreover four power-sipping Cortex-A53 cores. GPU performance still lagged far behind Samsung's phones though, using a Mali T880 MP4 GPU versus the Galaxy S7‘s Mali T880 MP12 part. But it's clear Huawei made a enormous benefit normal.Huawei also provided the P9 Plus, packing a slightly bigger (5.2-inch) OLED screen and a larger battery among key modifications.
Huawei P10 series (2017)
HTC One A9.Huawei tried to ape Meizu by mapping gestures to this scanner, enabling you to return with a light tap of the scanner/home key and go home with a firm press. Need to activate the recents menu?Then you only need a lateral swipe on the scanner/home key. We theory these gestures were "fairly intuitive" in our Huawei P10 review, however the move to full-screen designs/gestures and the loss of a Galaxy S8-style haptic home button means you aren't getting this on newer instruments.
The P10 series doesn't make for a huge improvement on paper when it comes to camera requirements. You've got a 12MP+20MP monochrome rear camera pairing here, but the added selection and optical image stabilization totally helped to convey better effects. It didn't hurt that the Kirin 960 chipset eventually introduced 4K recording to the P series.We also saw a Plus variant for the last time in the diversity before Huawei switched to the Pro moniker with the P20 series. The P10 Plus differed from the vanilla P10 by having a larger battery, a bigger and sharper screen, and wider rear camera apertures.
Huawei P10 series fast facts:
- Huawei's P10 series was capable of taking pictures 20MP color shots, despite the fact that the colour camera topped out at 12MP.
- Huawei also introduced a software-based portrait mode to the front-facing camera, coming several months before the Pixel series and iPhones gained selfie snap shots.
- Some P10 phones shipped with UFS garage while others shipped with slower eMMC garage. Go figure.
- The phone came in a slightly appealing kit, opening up corresponding to a book in place of a standard phone box.
Huawei P20 series (2018)
Kirin 970 chipset, which was the 1st Android phone processor to provide a committed desktop studying chip. This piece of silicon enabled offline language translation with the pre-put in Microsoft translation tool and higher image processing/consciousness functions. But it also enabled giant energy discounts, allowing the CPU and GPU to offload desktop learning tasks.
The vanilla P20 added a stupendous solid 3,400mAh battery, while the P20 Pro serves up a 4,000mAh battery. Either way, you're getting 22. 5W wired charging. Unfortunately, wireless charging wasn't accessible on either model.Read: 40MP shootout — Huawei P20 Pro vs Lumia 1020
But the biggest reason to get the P20 series was for the images adventure, as the P20 Pro in certain was the 1st triple rear camera cellphone.It offered a massive 40MP fundamental camera, 20MP monochrome sensor, and 8MP 3x telephoto snapper. The phone may also deliver 5x hybrid zoom, essentially using image fusion and processing to yield better effects than traditional electronic zoom.The essential P20 was far more modest in its camera capabilities, providing a 12MP+20MP monochrome dual rear camera pairing. The phone still had a few camera facets in common with its Pro stablemate, adding a very good Night mode.The P20 series also popularized the gradient color trend, with its Twilight colorway being rather remarkable. And we've since seen the likes of Samsung and Vivo offer this feature afterwards.
Huawei P20 series fast facts:
- Night mode on the P20 family preceded Google and OnePlus's own night modes by a few months.
- The Huawei P20 series was also accompanied by the Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design, offering two fingerprint scanners (rear and in-reveal), a sharper screen, and wireless charging.
- Huawei released P20 Pro models with leather backs at IFA 2018.
- The series is scheduled to get Android 10 later in 2020.
Huawei P30 series (2019)
P30 Pro, that includes a 5x periscope zoom camera for the 1st time in a telephone (together with the Oppo Reno 10X Zoom Edition). This sees a prism being used to provide better zoom levels than a regular telephoto camera. No wonder Samsung got one of the vital key businesses behind the tech and used it in the Galaxy S20 Ultra.Huawei's Pro device also stands out from the elementary model thanks to a bigger battery (4,200mAh vs 3,650mAh), faster wired charging (40W vs 22.5W), IP68 water-resistance rating, and a much better resolution ultra-wide camera (20MP vs 16MP).Both phones function a 40MP basic camera, ditching the RGB (red, green, and blue) color filter seen in all phone cameras in favor of an RYYB (red, yellow, blue) filter. This is meant to enhance low-light performance, and we idea it absolutely made the P30 series a low-light champ.
The P30 series is powered by the Kirin 980 chipset, which packed the most recent Arm Cortex-A76 cores at the time, a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU, and second-technology NPU. The two phones also share an in-display fingerprint sensor, 32MP selfie cameras, and assist for Huawei's proprietary NM memory cards.
What in regards to the P40 series?
Evan BlassHuawei's next P-series flagship, the P40 series, is due on Thursday, March 26. And if there's something we all know concerning the range, it's that it might be the first P-series flagship to lack Google Mobile Services.We're also anticipating the P40 series to provide the Kirin 990 processor, as the series traditionally adopts an identical chipset as the last Mate entry (Mate 30 series).It's also believed that shall we see three models this time, namely simple, Pro, and Premium/Pro Plus variations. Other rumors point to a punch-hole monitor and an upgraded periscope camera.You can take a look at our Huawei P40 rumor hub at the old link, overlaying everything from the name and design to power and camera information.It's clear Huawei has incessantly progressed over the years, going from a low-powered player to a true flagship juggernaut. But what would you like to see from future Huawei flagships?Give us your wishlist below!