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[MWC2015] Huawei’s retro focussing camera isn’t just a gimmick

There’s no word yet on whether or not Huawei will be launching its Honor 6 Plus smartphone in South Africa, but suffice it to say that if it does, we’ll be lined up as potential customers. It’s not because of its respectable spec sheet either – it has a great 5.5inch screen, a top end Kirin K930 processor, 3GB RAM all shoved into a crisp white wafer of metal and plastic much like any other. It’s the camera that makes it stand out.

The Honor 6 Plus is the first smartphone to use a camera capable of focussing images after they’ve been taken. Around the back of the phone, there’s two separate lenses which capture depth information as well as light from a scene. The upshot is that by tapping anywhere on a picture, you can focus-change the focal point and bring it into sharp relief.

These two images below are exactly the same. Just refocussed after they’ve been captured.

Huawei Honor 6 Plus image 1.jpg

 

Huawei Honor 6 Plus image 2.jpgIt’s not the first time we’ve seen this type of technology, of course. It was pioneered by Lytro, a firm which has been selling cameras capable of exactly this for a few years. As far as I know Huawei hasn’t licensed the technology from Lytro.

According to Huawei, even without the retro-focussing feature the Honor 6 Plus is still capable of pretty smart shots – it claims its on a par with DSLRs quality, and while some demo shots from MWC are promising, I’ll have to test that claim properly at a later date.

I’m looking forward to it.

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