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Huawei P60 Pro: Snaps from a weekend adventure

If you’ve seen our first look at the Huawei P60 Pro, you know I’ve been singing the praises of this smartphone’s camera. That admittedly hasn’t really changed much. Huawei‘s included such a capable set of cameras that I didn’t even consider carrying around my camera during a recent weekend jaunt.

I went on another walking tour around Sampaloc’s heritage sites with The Heritage Collective and Renacimiento Manila with friends and enjoyed lunch with my family one weekend. And the Huawei P60 Pro became a reliable companion during this busy time, mainly because of the features I’ll be talking about below. But first, let’s get a quick refresher on the cameras of this premium smartphone.

Huawei P60 Pro: Camera setup

Huawei brings some of its older, reliable camera tech to the P60 Pro. (You can check out our unboxing of the phone here.) It inherits the physical aperture of the Mate 50 Pro and brings it into the 48-megapixel main sensor. This allows you to set 10 different stops ranging from f/1.4 to f/4.0 in the Pro mode or keep things simple through the Aperture mode and help you achieve the amount of background blur you want. 

The Huawei P60 Pro also gets a 48-megapixel telephoto lens with an RYYB sensor and an f/2.1 aperture. This “Ultra Lighting Telephoto” camera is considered to have the biggest sensor on any periscope-equipped phone, allowing it to take in more light (178% more than its predecessor). Similar to the primary sensor, it has optical image stabilization. And this lens doubles as the extra capable macro camera on this phone. It offers 3.5x optical, 10x digital, and 100x hybrid zoom. It gets an entire zoom range of 200x, though, through Huawei’s XD optics algorithm.

Aside from these two powerhouse cameras, there’s also a 13-megapixel ultrawide sensor at the back and a 13-megapixel selfie camera in front. Video recording on both the front and rear cameras top out at 4K @ 30 frames per second. You can check out some of those samples here:


How does the Huawei P60 Pro’s cameras work IRL? Check these samples out that we took during The HeritageC ollective and Renacimiento Manila’s Sampaloc Heritage Tour! We have more photos to show in a story we’re sharing on the site soon. For now, here’s something to whet your appetite! Check out more samples here: @LiTT Tech (mostly!) #HuaweiP60Pro #LiTTmedia #techtok #smartphonecameratest

♬ Summer Rain – Le Parody & Gizmo Varillas

But I know you’re here to see how these cameras perform. So, let’s move on to that.

Putting the ‘Super’ in Super Macro

I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. The Super Macro camera on the Huawei P60 is the best I’ve seen on a smartphone camera so far. The amount of detail it retains and how it allows you to get close without being physically close is impressive.

It allowed me to capture little architectural details at places like Gota de Leche, the pretty flowers I saw on the grounds of the University of the East and Far Eastern University, and even the little details on my friend’s camera and the coffee cup she was drinking out of.

And I love that Super Macro works for videos, too. Any close-ups (even of our guide) you see in the video above were done in this mode.

Zooming isn’t something to dismiss either. While it is possible to use the 100x hybrid zoom, my preference is up to around 5x. But during the walk, I could still take pretty decent, detailed shots up to 10x. It could capture the details of that faraway supermarket sign. I could see what stores were in this narrow alley, spot the statue on UE’s grounds, get closer to the fountain at Gota de Leche, and take a photo of FEU’s iconic tamaraw statue. At dusk, I could even take a photo of a faraway water tank at home.

Giving the best portraits

It’s so easy to claim to offer impressive portrait photography on a smartphone. And I’ve seen various brands do this and live up to those claims. But the Huawei P60 Pro seems to take this up a notch. It offers the “cleanest” subject separation from the background I’ve seen on a smartphone.

Huawei encouraged us to test out those 3.5x portraits that let you take crisp portraits without having to be too close to your subject. While that works well, I experimented with different zoom options and they turned out just as well. You could zoom up to 5x in Portrait, but I went as far as 3.5x during the tour.

For the most part, it could cleanly separate my subjects from their background, even if there were two people in the frame, or we were beside a busy road, or someone was trying to take photos behind my subject. But it did fritz out on me once, which you’ll see below. It was uncommon enough that it doesn’t seem like it’ll happen often.

That one time Portrait mode kinda failed me

If you’re not taking photos of people but want that gorgeous background blur, you can switch it up and use the Aperture mode on the P60 Pro. You can switch between Virtual and Physical Apertures. While the former works on a scale, the latter seems cleaner. If you’re comfortable using the Pro mode, you can also tinker with the aperture there.

Auto works just as well

While tinkering with the Pro camera mode will help you maximize the P60 Pro’s cameras, I tend to use Auto when I’m out on tours like the one I was on with this phone. And it really didn’t let me down. Of course, those shots during the day turned out especially well.

I left Huawei’s Master AI software on and allowed it to tweak the colors to my liking and I was plenty happy with it. The highlights don’t look overexposed and the colors seem natural. It’s easy to get usable shots even if you just point and shoot. It does have some quirks once the lights get low, and I’ll talk more about those in the next section.

The lowdown on low-light photography

If you want your subject to be viewable in low light, use the Night mode on the Huawei P60 Pro. But it’s also still possible to shoot in Auto. Something I’ve noticed about the photos shot in Auto when it’s dark or getting dark, they look like they give off this “dark vibe” I see on Instagram where you pull the exposure down to darken the image. It gives off that vibe. And it’s not exactly bad. You can check out some of the samples I shot at dusk yourself.

Ultra-wide misses

I mentioned earlier how the Portrait mode got janky that one time, but what I’ve noticed is a bit more hit or miss is its Ultrawide feature. The wheel has to fall off somewhere I guess, and on the P60 Pro, this is one of its weaker points. There are times when it looks great. I feel like it works best with leading lines.

But then you’ll get these weird stretched-out corners at other times. I’d recommend experimenting with this and don’t rely on just one shot. Take a few and see what works.

Huawei P60 Pro: Final thoughts

As I’m wrapping up this story, Huawei’s been asking for the P60 Pro back and I’m reluctant to return it. It’s one of the handful of devices I’ve been apprehensive to send back after the review period. The cameras on this phone alone have been such a huge help for my work that I really don’t want to go without it. My friends equally loved this device because I could take amazing portraits of them.

As with any other smartphone, it isn’t without its quirks. But the Huawei P60 Pro gets so much right in the camera department that I can ignore its flaws. If you were looking for a powerful smartphone camera, this should be high on that list of devices to consider.

The Huawei P60 Pro gets a starting price of EUR 1,199, GBP 1,199.99, or PHP 58,999.

Is this your next smartphone? We’d love to know your thoughts!