Huawei are certainly pushing the boat out to launch their revolutionary smartphones, the P30 and top-of-the-line P30 Pro in New Zealand – celebrating with a huge street party in Auckland on Friday.
It's a sign of just how groundbreaking these new phones are. The global launch in Paris attracted thousands of journalists and since then, there has been something of an international rush to buy the P30 and P30 Pro, marketed as "super-camera phones" which have made huge advances in mobile phone camera technology at a price ($1099 for the P30, $1499 for the P30 Pro) significantly undercutting competitors' flagship devices.
In Singapore, for example, crowds queued round the block from 9pm the night before the P30 and P30 Pro were launched on Saturday; both models were sold out before noon.
In Britain, Huawei marked the UK launch with a dramatic show in the skies above the Tower of London – with a laser art installation devised by immersive artist Dan Archer bringing the lights and colours of the Aurora Borealis direct to Londoners, a visual reference to the eye-catching 'Aurora' colour option of the phone (one of three colours available here).
In Auckland, Huawei are billing the P30 Federal Street Festival as the "hottest free festival of 2019". Headline acts include Sons of Zion, who played to 50,000 people at Western Springs to open the recent Six60 concert there and whose song Drift Away has become a New Zealand mega-hit and one of the most played songs in recent times.
DJs Arii Jade and Karn Hall will get matters moving at Federal Street at 4pm and a virtual who's who of New Zealand talent will perform – with Kenyan-born Kiwi hip-hop artist Jess B, fresh from releasing her debut EP Bloom, up first.
Then follows the amazing voice of Laughton Kora whose skills range from electronic funk to his acclaimed role as Judas in the Auckland Theatre Company's production of Jesus Christ Superstar a few years ago.
The hip-hop, R&B and reggae range of Che Fu will be up next, at about 6.15pm before Kings arrives on stage with his brand of rap and clever songwriting, with Sons of Zion topping the bill at about 9pm.
Gavin Cheng, General Manager of Huawei Consumer Business Group New Zealand says: "Innovative technology has always been the hallmark of our brand. The new Huawei P30 Series features outstanding camera upgrades, ahead of its time, enabling more freedom and room for creativity among users to capture the best moments in life.
"We are so sure that these new phones will be a hit that we have arranged a whole evening of hits for people to enjoy. What better way to showcase the unparalleled photography capabilities of our flagship smartphone than to host an evening where, for example, people can explore the revolutionary new low-light abilities of the P30 Pro?"
The company has certainly been enjoying its push towards global leadership in this segment. In 2018, the global sales revenue of Huawei's consumer business reached CNY348.9 billion ($78.4 billion), up 45.1 per cent year-on-year.
The P30 and in particular the P30 will only improve that. Huawei have called the new phone "re-writing the rules of photography". The big advance is in zoom, particularly for the top-of-the-range P30 Pro.
Zoom has often been a weakness in mobile phone cameras, with most unable to magnify significantly without distortion. The P30 Pro has a 5x optical zoom, a 10x hybrid zoom and a 50x digital zoom, the most powerful yet seen - and photographs seen at the launch, and in trials since, back up the claims of new levels of clarity with the "periscope" system.
Zoomed shots keep their edges sharp, retain their colours and don't blur out as regular smartphones do in similar circumstances.
The P30 Pro also comes with a superb two-day battery and yet another huge advance is the phone's ability to take pictures in poor light – a previous weakness of mobile phone cameras. The P30 and P30 Pro's low light capability is so boosted by the SuperSpectrum sensor that even night scenes become "crystal clear", with vivid colour surpassing even the ability of the human eye to discern, said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Group.
Optically stabilised main and telephoto cameras steady the shot, night or day, without a tripod and, when you use the Night function, the camera "counts down" before activating the shutter, drawing in as much light as possible for jaw-droppingly clear photos at night, even in darkness.
The P30 Pro has four cameras on the back, a first, which enable not only zoom but a host of other photographic features. The Leica Quad Camera system includes a 40 megapixel main camera with Huawei's powerful SuperSpectrum sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, a Time-of-Flight (TOF) camera, along with a 32MP front camera which Huawei says ushers in a new level of selfies.
Pre-ordering a P30 Pro comes with an interest-free loan to buy the new Huawei GT Watch. A new version of the smartwatch was launched alongside the P30 and P30 Pro and offers industry-leading fitness and wellness tracking capabilities with two-week battery life – retailing here for $349.