Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well we probably should've expected this from Huawei.

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei — one of the biggest smartphone brands in the world — has been grilled online for trying to pass off DSLR photography as if it was taken by the front-facing camera on its new Nova 3 smartphone.

The rather misleading suggestion was featured in an advertisement that ran in Egypt. In the ad, a couple takes an array of selfies and each picture is shown on screen as a snapshot of the moment.

But a social media post from one of the actors involved accidentally spoiled the illusion, revealing the photos were actually taken by a professional photographer with a DSLR camera.


The model quickly took down the Instagram post but not before it was pounced on by internet users.

The selfie snaps in the ad clearly look a bit too good to be true. It's expected that brands take a degree of creative license and use flattering techniques and editing in promotions like this. But at the same time, photography and camera quality have become a big focus in smartphone marketing and was presented as a particular selling point of the Egyptian ad.

This is not the first time Huawei has been caught doing this sort of thing. As Android Police uncovered, Huawei was caught posting a shot online that appeared to be from one of its P9 smartphones but metadata revealed it was shot on a $5000 Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

It was also caught photo shopping away the bezels on renderings for its P8 phone used in certain advertisements.

Huawei is not the only one, however. Samsung Brazil was recently caught trying to pass off stock photos as pictures taken with the Galaxy A8.

But duplicity is not always the case. For instance, photos from Apple's "Shot on iPhone" campaign that featured on billboards in major Australian cities were indeed taken with an iPhone, albeit with some added equipment.

Huawei told CNET that a disclaimer at the end of the video shown in Egypt outlines the images and content shown "are for reference only."

The Arabic text reportedly translates to: "Product characteristics and actual specifications may vary (including but not limited to appearance, colour, size), as well as actual presentation contents (including but not limited to backgrounds, user interface, and controls)."