The Huawei P20 Pro looks set to have three cameras around the back, with the latest rumors suggesting one of them will clock in at 40MP!
When you consider the rumored resolutions of the other cameras on this phone, the P20 Pro's collective pixel-count could come in at no less than 80MP.
But in a world in which 12MP is the widely accepted sweet spot for smartphones, what could Huawei possibly be thinking?
Join us for our Huawei P20 Pro live chat at 3.30pm GMT, 11.30am ET, 08.30am PT
PureView: A history lesson
This isn't the first time we've seen such huge numbers touted on a rear camera. Before HMD Global bought Nokia, the Finnish phone manufacturer was the photographer's favorite thanks to its PureView imaging technology.
Originally launched on the Nokia 808, Nokia paired a large 41MP sensor with Carl Zeiss optics and a Xenon flash to create images that could trounce most of today's smartphone cameras.
One of the things that made PureView special was a technique called oversampling. It created a 5MP image from its huge 41MP sensor, using software to combine the information from multiple pixels into one, averaged out pixel.
By doing so, Nokia's tech was able to reduce noise and was way ahead of its time on the imaging front. Glory aside, this tech landed on an operating system that was on its way out – Symbian. A few years later, PureView tech returned on the Nokia Lumia 1020, running the ill fated Windows Phone OS.
Is the Huawei P20 Pro the new PureView smartphone?
So the question is – will Huawei go the Nokia route and oversample images, turning that 40MPs of information into a lower resolution shot?
It's too early to say for sure what Huawei's plans to do here, but this seems highly likely. We've seen the technique adopted in recent years by Sony and HTC on their sub-23MP sensors, and 40MP of information on a tiny smartphone sensor would likely create a very grainy full-resolution photograph.
If Huawei does use oversampling, the P20 Pro looks set to be the first mainstream flagship smartphone to feature Nokia's PureView style oversampling at the eye watering resolutions rumored.
It's also unclear at this stage as to whether the phone will benefit from other PureView highlights like a larger sensor size and incredibly good dynamic range, but watch this space – both the P20 and P20 Pro are expected to drop on March 27 and we'll be reporting live from the launch.
Image credit: WinFuture