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Huawei was just caught faking sample photos for its unreleased P30 Pro flagship phone

Updated Mar 13th, 2019 8:42AM EDT
P30 Pro Release Date
Image: Huawei

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Huawei will unveil a brand new flagship smartphone whose main feature will be the multi-lens rear camera, that’s supposed to deliver better zoom than most competitors. The P30 series will be launched on March 26th in Paris, France, but we’ve already seen plenty of leaks detailing the upcoming phone. More importantly, the P30 Pro’s periscope camera was already confirmed — that’s the kind of tech that will support even better zoom than competing flagships. To tease the new zooming feature, Huawei posted several images on Weibo. But it turns out that at least one photo was taken with a DSLR camera, rather than the new P30 Pro.

Huawei was caught faking smartphone selfies back in August. The company used a DSLR to shoot a misleading ad that suggested the selfies were taken with a new Nova phone. At the time, Huawei said that the purpose of the ad was to demonstrate how customers can use the new phones, and the product shots were for reference only, as it was stated at the end of that ad. Even so, it didn’t look good for Huawei.

Image source: Huawei via GSM Arena

The new campaign advertises the upcoming P30 launch, and the sample images tease the zoom features of the upcoming phone. But the images were not taken by P30 Pro phones. A GSM Arena reader found that one of the images used was actually captured with a DSLR camera by a professional photographer. The image with the erupting volcano above is a stock image taken some ten years ago.

Here’s a comparison between Huawei’s image and the real photo from The Verge:

Image source: The Verge

Huawei may rightly point out these are just ads, and that the imagery is for reference only. However, it still doesn’t look good for the company. The implication is that the P30 Pro will be able to deliver that particular kind of quality. Using photos that were actually shot on the P30 Pro, would have been a much better idea.

Huawei is not the only company having been caught recently faking ads, with Samsung pulling off a similar move. In light of these marketing tactics, Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” ad campaign is just brilliant. Apple started its photo-based ads a few years ago, showing photos that were shot on iPhone on billboards around the world alongside three words: “Shot on iPhone.” These are photos taken by iPhone users, likely including pro photographers but also regular iPhone owners, that Apple licenses to use in its ads and commercials.

Huawei reached out to BGR to say the teasers are “only teaser posters, and are only intended to hint at the unique new features” of the upcoming phone:

We’ve been made aware that there might have been some misunderstanding regarding our recent Huawei P30 Series teaser posters. We would like to reiterate that those are, in fact, only teaser posters, and are only intended to hint at the unique new features that will come with the Huawei P30 Series. Huawei has acquired the licenses to the original images and the posters are artistic renditions of said features only. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank the media for their interest in our posters. We have much to announce in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned!

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.