Huawei busted using Canon DSLR photo to promote new P9 smartphone camera

Chinese smartphone maker posted striking image with caption implying it was taken using high-end model’s dual-lens camera, but is forced to apologise and says caption ‘should have been clearer’ after tech website exposes truth

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 July, 2016, 1:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 July, 2016, 2:25pm

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has admitted a photograph it used to promote its P9 model with Leica-endorsed dual-lens camera was not taken using the phone.

Technology and gadget websites quoted a Huawei statement saying: “It has recently been highlighted that an image posted to our social channels was not shot on the Huawei P9. The photo, which was professionally taken while filming a Huawei P9 advert, was shared to inspire our community.

“We recognise, though, that we should have been clearer with the captions for this image. It was never our intention to mislead. We apologise for this and we have removed the image.”

The photo Huawei posted showed a photo of model at sunrise with, as website Android Police noted, “quite striking” detail that for a smartphone camera would be “downright impressive”. As it also notes, Huawei clearly implied the shot was taken with its P9, with a caption that read: We managed to catch a beautiful sunrise with Deliciously Ella. The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure. Reinvent smartphone photography and share your sunrise pictures with us. #OO

Android Police checked the image’s metadata via social media site Google+ (where the shot was originally posted) and found that the image was in fact taken using a US$2,600 Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera, paired with a US$1,900 lens.

“So, did Huawei come out and say this was a P9 photo directly? No. Do they want you to associate the P9’s dual Leica camera performance and this image, per the statement about its abilities in low light conditions “like this?” Of course they do. That’s marketing,” the website’s report concludes. “And when a smartphone and a luxury brand team up to try and sell you something on the basis of a name, you should always be suspicious.”

The P9 courted controversy from the word go when Huawei associated its camera with Leica as if it was made by the top German optics company.

Review: Huawei P9 - decent attempt to make perfect camera phone with help from Leica

Leica later clarified that it worked on certain parts of the camera with Huawei, but did not make the camera sensor or the lens.