Huawei and Leica open new R&D center for better smartphone cameras

Huawei P9
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It looks like the cameras on Huawei phones are only going to get better — Huawei and Leica have created a new research and development center to create better camera modules for future smartphones. The lab, which is called the “Max Berek Innovation Lab” is located in Wetzlar, Germany.

The partnership isn’t out of the blue: The two companies buddied up for the Huawei P9 and P9 Plus, which were released in April of this year. While the two phones got generally mixed reviews, the cameras on the phones were widely praised for their quality. One of the reasons is the dual-camera setup, in which one lens captures color images and the other black-and-white images. Those photos can then be combined to improve contrast and show finer detail in the final product.

“In the future, over 90 percent of the data traffic will be images and videos,” said Ren Zhengfei, founder of Huawei, in an emailed blog post. “The Max Berek Innovation Lab provides the capacity to establish an even closer partnership with Leica, leading to continuous improvements in image and video quality. As a result, we will deliver the most advanced innovations in the smartphone camera market and bring greater value to consumers.”

The partnership certainly makes sense — Huawei is one of the largest smartphone manufacturers, and Leica is one of the most respected camera makers. It is said that the lab will also be home to project that involve universities and other research facilities nearby. Not only that, but the lab will also include creation of new augmented and virtual reality devices.

While the announcement of the new lab doesn’t specifically confirm that Leica will provide cameras for upcoming Huawei phones, considering the nature of the announcement, it seems very likely.