Leica had almost no input on the Huawei P9 cameras it 'co-engineered'

Leica had almost no input on the Huawei P9 cameras it 'co-engineered'
UPDATE: Huawei reached out with a statement to refute the original publication. The company claims there has been "significant technological collaboration" with Leica in the P9 and P9 Plus cameras' "optical design, imaging quality, image data processing, optimization, and the mechanical construction of the camera module, to the graphic user interface." It also notes that the devices "meet Leica’s highest imaging quality standards."

The Huawei P9 arrived alongside the P9 Plus at a special launch event in London a couple of weeks back to much excitement. Though a new flagship announcement from a renowned brand like Huawei is exciting enough, there was added intrigue due to the two rear-facing cameras, which, it was claimed, had been 'co-engineered' by Leica. A renowned German optics company, the Leica collab had much of the snap-happy tech world frothing at the mouth, particularly given what Carl Zeiss has done for Lumia devices over the past decade or so. As it transpires, Leica's input to the shooter's tech was superficial, and essentially, the logo is little more than a marketing ploy. 

Not too long ago, firms capitalized on the naiveté of consumers by simply bumping up the resolution of each new smartphone snapper. Slowly but surely, the world learned that more megapixels doesn't always equate to a better performance, and thus, OEMs have since sought alternative ways to woo fans of high-end handsets. 

Leica carries plenty of weight in the world of photography, so for Huawei to have the company's name emblazoned on its flagship handsets is quite a big deal. However, the P9 and P9 Plus' shooters are only 'certified by Leica', which, to put it simply, could mean little more than a Leica engineer testing out the device before saying 'yep'. 

As noted by Übergizmo, Leica had no hand in the development or creation of the camera or its optics. In actuality, the components were made by a Chinese firm called Sunny Optical Technology. Apparently, the German company did help to create a 'picture quality algorithm', but aside from that, it looks like the Leica branding is mostly just that: branding. 

This goes some way to explaining why, in our Huawei P9 review, we found the camera to be pretty good, but nothing particularly special.

Thoughts?

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P9
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(20h 3G talk time)
P9 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2500 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3400 mAh

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51 Comments

1. tyrionTheWise unregistered

I guess we knew it from the start, didn't we. These kind of partnerships usually are just branding to increase sales.

3. Jimrod

Posts: 1605; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Yup. Like Beats Audio on HTC, Bose in Audi's (mine had same speakers as the standard model with a sub thrown in the boot), it's been a ploy for a long time.

13. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

It depends. On the early HTC Beats phones, Beats earbuds were included (like on the Rezound). The speakers in your Audi may not be manufactured by Bose, but more than likely Bose tuned the system (EQ, imaging and phase, etc) similar to what Alpine did on my old Charger.

4. the_s2

Posts: 239; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

At least Carl Zeiss did provide optics to Nokia smartphones.

6. tyrionTheWise unregistered

In these cases the wording is important. Nokia said it used carl zeiss lenses. Huawei said it made the camera in collaboration with Leica. Basically what Huawei did was to frame words in such a way to fool customers.

8. 2.5GHz

Posts: 270; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

It's a marketing shenanigan. Is there any OEM which doesn't do that?

16. tyrionTheWise unregistered

Apple and Samsung usually refrain from doing that. LG and Sony are the worst.

29. Remmy

Posts: 187; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

Worst in what? Sony makes their own camera sensors, they have the display technology, audio quality knowledge, etc.

34. ..Z..

Posts: 85; Member since: Apr 16, 2016

My Z5 has great front stereo and sexy design along with great display. Only let down by the crappy Snapdragon. If only it came with Exynos.

36. Remmy

Posts: 187; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

True, while it may not be the best performer from "credible" reviewers, it's still the best overall packaged phone in its time.

47. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Its your fault knowing sony make new phone every three month. Trully samsung is better in making quality and no nonsense (4k and crapdragon) phone.

9. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Nokia N95 beast of the camera's with Carl Zeiss Glass.

18. MSi_Cubi unregistered

they actually didn't ..it is just same as with leica

30. Hydrocaliz

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

While P9's camera setup is manufactured by Sunny Optical Technology, the company authorised by Leica. And, do you know that Leica also made a lens for P9 (SUMMARIT H 1:2.2/27 ASPH)?

25. Hydrocaliz

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

"Just branding to increase sales"? LMFAO. You do know that Leica is involved in the development of: ・optical design ・imaging quality ・image data processing optimization ・the mechanical construction of the camera module ・the graphic user interface. as well as P9's lens, right? Seriously, people should do some research before posting such an idiotic comment like this. Especially for the lens part, Huawei's CEO said that they have utilised Leica-made custom lens for their P9. Sigh...

31. Hydrocaliz

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

P.S. The source: GSMArena

33. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

no worries... PA wont make article about that Leica's involvement.. they'll leave as is, to make P9 look bad, lol

52. Abdbaas

Posts: 136; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

Lol I guess from now on you won't follow blindly what gsmA says..

2. dubaiboy78

Posts: 442; Member since: Sep 19, 2014

Kinda beats in htc before..

24. B00M_SHAKALAKA

Posts: 27; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

You pretty late with this comment

5. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Sadly, almost all companies are coming with superficial marketing gimmicks this year... This is nothing more than cheating customers... I hate these slogans "Lieca engineered camera"... "world's first out class camera".... "wide angle camera with changeable friends"... "intelligent micro dizzying to hide antenna(cheap paint in reality)"... "3d force touch( Nokia Symbian style drop down)"... Simply, all of them are cheaters to lure customers to buy their expensive products by any mean...

7. submarinerz

Posts: 32; Member since: Mar 24, 2016

Another stupid and ridiculous iphone wanna be

11. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

iPhone wanna be....nah, a shameful marketing tactic? Yes.

26. Hydrocaliz

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

Sorry, but the thing which is really shameful is this article. Those "sources" still are not able to prove that this whole Leica thing is just a marketing term. Google: "Huawei P9 Leica camera setup is made by Sunny Optical Technology" and you'll find an article by GSMArena. I think this will be enough proof that this is not "a shameful marketing tactic"

44. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I admit, it's all speculation with zero hard facts but the story is plausible.

20. DRS1977

Posts: 678; Member since: May 27, 2015

Are you on drugs? This phone is nothing like the iPhone aka Ativ S ripoff.

10. NorthernViking

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 25, 2015

So they just payed Leica to use their name and logo? Leica is destroying their reputation by doing this.

27. Hydrocaliz

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 20, 2016

Why do you even think that Leica is ruining their reputation? Huawei P9 has great cameras. It surely will improve their brand image but never destroy it for sure...

12. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Shame on you Huawei for using such a marketing tactic.

19. MSi_Cubi unregistered

u so idiotic

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