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Mate 20 camera app teardown reveals underwater mode, AI Zoom, and more

HUAWEI could be working on a better way to take photos underwater, along with several AI-related camera features.

Published onSeptember 20, 2018

A teaser for the HUAWEI Mate 20.
A teaser for the HUAWEI Mate 20. Huawei
  • A teardown of the Mate 20 camera app has revealed an underwater mode.
  • Underwater mode will reportedly allow users to operate the camera via the phone’s hardware buttons.
  • The teardown has also revealed an AI Zoom option, an AI Cinema feature, and a video bokeh mode.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 is a few weeks away from release, and the leak train is steaming ahead at full speed. Now, the latest leak may have revealed a variety of camera features for the new phablet.

A teardown of the Mate 20 camera app by XDA-Developers has revealed a number of modes and features, starting with the underwater mode. This lets you take “clear shots in underwater environments,” using the volume up key to record video, the volume down key to snap a photo, and the power key to enable/disable the app. The outlet adds that you can also hold “the button at the bottom” to exit the app.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen an underwater mode on an OEM’s camera app, as Hisense’s rugged phones feature this option too. Hisense’s mode lets you shoot with the volume keys, but also disables all touch input to prevent the phone’s UI going all wonky in the water. But the main difference here is that Huawei seems to be encouraging users to stick their phone in an underwater pouch (as evident by the unearthed graphic below), rather than letting you actually dip the device in water.

A HUAWEI phone in a pouch.

The second interesting feature unearthed by XDA is an AI Zoom function, which will “automatically adjust the zoom level to keep your subject centered.” This sounds like a neat idea, especially if you’re filming your child at the school play or your significant other on the sports field. Then again, using AI Zoom on fast-moving subjects/objects might require better predictive focus to keep everything sharp.

More video options for Mate 20?

The AI Cinema feature reportedly in the Mate 20 camera app.

HUAWEI is also working on two video-related features, according to the teardown. The first one (seen above) is dubbed AI Cinema, essentially delivering a variety of filters for video recording. These filters include an “AI Color” option (ostensibly keeping the subject in color and the background in monochrome), and a background blur option.

HONOR wants to be a top 3 brand by 2022, will start with world's first 5G phone
President of HONOR smartphones, Mr. George Zhao, on stage during an HONOR 5G phone event.

The second video-related feature spotted in the app is a video bokeh option. The Chinese brand has previously allowed users to enable the blur-inducing “wide aperture” mode when recording video. But this new option now allows users to customize the bokeh shapes in the background of their clips, such as circles, butterflies, and hearts. It wouldn’t be the first time we see the ability to customize the shape of bokeh effects, as Samsung’s Galaxy J8 already has a similar feature, but it was ostensibly limited to photos only.

These features aren’t guaranteed to appear on the Mate 20 and might not even see the light of day, as HUAWEI could still have a change of heart. Still, it seems like the brand is working on quite a few new additions to the app. We’ll just have to wait a few more weeks to officially have a look at the phone and its features.

Are there any other camera features you’d like to see on the HUAWEI Mate 20? Let us know in the comments section.

NEXT: Wirelessly charge new HUAWEI AirPod ripoffs on the back of your Mate 20

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