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The camera is now the only smartphone feature that matters

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06-2-p20-pro-fcb-aquarium.jpgHuawei's new smartphones put the camera front and centre. Image: Huauwei

Huawei has unveiled two new set of smartphones including one device that packs three separate lens into its main camera[1] set up.

The Chinese smartphone maker[2] launched its latest flagship devices at an event in Paris[3] -- the Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro.

The Huawei P20 has a 5.8-inch display, while the P20 Pro packs a 6.1-inch display[4]; both feature an iPhone X style notch for the sensors and cameras. But the P20 Pro ups the ante for smartphone makers with a three-lens camera set up and AI to help frame your compositions. And Huawei's emphasis on the camera shows where smartphone makers think the money is these days.

That's because the launch comes at a difficult time in the global smartphone market[5]: while 408 million smartphones were sold in the fourth quarter of 2017, that was a 5.6 percent decline over the fourth quarter of 2016, according to Gartner -- making it the first year-on-year decline. Consumers are holding onto their smartphones longer than they did before as there are few new features being introduce that are persuading them to upgrade.

The average mid-range smartphone now contains pretty much all the features that the typical user will ever need, and probably a few more that they don't even know are in there. Most of the essential features (calling, email, messaging, social media, gaming, and music) are either commodities or are provided by third parties. Innovating around these core features is all but impossible.

However, as the smartphone market becomes saturated and commoditised, smartphone makers are looking to premium, flagship models as a way to make higher

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