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New Huawei trademarks intensify Mate 30 Pro vs Pixel 4 camera rivalry

Two new eye-catching trademarks indicate that Huawei’s next flagship will have plenty to boast about with regard to its camera. Could it even outstrip the upcoming Pixel 4?

The following camera-related trademarks have been registered to Huawei just months before the expected launch of the Huawei Mate 30: Cine Lens, and Camera Matrix.

This demonstrates that the company is likely to gear its marketing around the performance of the camera, at roughly the same time of year as the expected launch of the Google Pixel 4, so it’s going to have to be something special to stand out.

But what could the two new trademarks mean for the successor to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro?

Related: Best camera phones

Cine Lens

This trademark would most likely refer to a new video feature. In terms of hardware, it could refer to an ultra-wide lens that can film in a similar aspect ratio to the silver screen; but software could mean video recording improvements, from superior Optical Image Stabilisation to better frame rate and resolution — for instance, being able to record 4K video at 60fps, like on the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Read our Hands on: Mate 30 Pro review

In our review of the Google Pixel 3, we praised the stabilisation for videos, but bemoaned the inability to record 4K footage at 60fps. It also lacked an ultra-wide lens, preferring just one main sensor. If Huawei is gearing up to take a shot at Google with some hostile marketing, this could be a sensitive target.

Camera Matrix

The precise meaning of this term is far less clear. We reckon it’s likely a boast about the number of sensors in the rear camera module, which according to rumour could number as many as five or six. There are conflicting reports of whether the Mate 30 will have a rectangular or circle-shaped camera module, but the use of the term ‘matrix’ makes the rectangle more likely.

It’s certainly understandable to turn the spotlight on Google’s flagship on these grounds, when you consider that the Pixel 3 only has one camera lens.

Related: Best smartphone

Will it be enough to beat the Google Pixel 4?

Based on what we know so far, the Google Pixel 4 is stepping up to offer an even greater camera experience than its impressive predecessor. The bulky camera module looks set to include two large lenses and possibly a smaller third one, along with the flash. It could be a game changer for the Pixel line-up, which until now has only ever had one rear camera, so it could answer the possible jabs coming in its direction from Huawei.

But remember, we rated the Huawei P30 Pro as the best camera phone on the market, taking the crown from the vaunted Pixel 3 — so we expect there to be a hard-fought battle between the camera titans.

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