The future of the smartphone camera is here, it’s not Apple and it’s disturbing

Tech2 says the Huawei P30 Pro “makes the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus look redundant.” The Verge hails it as “the best camera you can’t buy in the U.S.” Others take out the qualifier altogether. Why? It’s all about zoom.

While the night photos “put the iPhoneAAPL, -0.10%to shame,” the one feature that stands out the most was put on display in this viral tweet by University of Waterloo professor Bessma Momani:

That clip has now been viewed more than 6 million times. Some questioned its authenticity, but the overwhelming reaction can be summed up in one response: “That is evil, scary and wrong! I want one!”

Mashable’s Stan Schroeder snapped this picture that, while grainy, gives a sense of the potential spy-power of the phone’s camera. “If this makes you uncomfortable, I know how you feel,” he wrote. “It felt odd taking this photo, even when I knew I’ve had full permission to do it (the person in the photo is my wife).”

Here’s more on what makes the “Periscope lens” so impressive:

Basically, the 50x zoom combines a 5x optical zoom with artificial intelligence-driven digital magnification. Tom’s Guide says that “even with the watercolor-like effect of the AI-assisted 50x zoom, the results are borderline magical.”

The phone has a 40MP wide-angle camera that Huawei calls a Super Spectrum shooter that sees RYYB (red, yellow, yellow, blue) light instead of the typical RGB (red, green, blue). That enables the camera to capture a wider range of colors, which also makes it great for those low-light pictures.

According to SlashGear, customers living in the United States can still import the phone, but there are some caveats. First, these phones only support GSM networks like AT&T T, -0.61% and T-MobileTMUS, -0.22% leaving SprintS, -2.62%and VerizonVZ, -0.10%out in the cold. Another word of caution for would-be importers: The Huawei P30 Pro doesn’t come with a warranty.

If you still want it, B&H is selling the P30 Pro in Crystal, Midnight Black and Aurora for $899.99, though the shipping date isn’t available yet.

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