NEW DELHI: For years now, smartphone manufacturers have fought tooth and nail over several features in their devices. One feature that has become a critical deciding factor among consumers is how good a camera is in a smartphone. Perhaps that’s why we have seen the maximum number of innovations happening in smartphone cameras. Be it increasing the number of megapixels or introducing concepts like pop-up cameras, three, four, five lenses, and now reversible cameras, smartphone brands aim to bring their A-game in this regard.

However, in the last few weeks, battle lines have been drawn yet again in the smartphone camera with the launch of Huawei P30 Pro. The Chinese smartphone maker is looking to create quite a stir in the market with its Night mode that promises to be a gamechanger. Almost every critic and expert has been gushing over the camera capabilities – especially how it operates in the dark – of the Huawei P30 Pro. We have also been quite impressed by the Night mode of Huawei but wait for our detailed review which will be out shortly.

Coming back to the new turf where we fully expect almost every smartphone brand to jump in with a special mode in their cameras for low-light photography.

The dark side of the mode

It was actually Google that got the ball rolling for low-light photography with a feature called Night Sight. The Night Sight mode was introduced first for Pixel smartphones in November 2018. Google as always has been a step ahead of competition when it comes to camera and it stole the march with the Night Sight mode as well.

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While the Night Sight mode can be accessed by other phones – like OnePlus 6T and a few more – through an APK file of Google’s camera app, it remains a Pixel-exclusive feature per se.

Following suit was Samsung which with its Galaxy S10 smartphone introduced a feature called Bright Night.

And now the latest to join the game is Huawei P30 Pro. The Night mode in the Huawei P30 Pro clicks images in absolute pitch darkness as well. It’s a feature that draws more than a few nods of approval and is something that so far no other phone has been able to do. Having said that, night mode is just one of the innovative features that Huawei P30 Pro is touting.

2019: The year of low-light photography

As we mentioned earlier, camera is one feature where the maximum innovations are happening. We have seen just a handful of flagship devices launched so far and we can expect other brands to up their night quotient as well. OnePlus which is expected to launch as many as three phones in 2019 will be looking to outshine competition with a night mode feature. One can’t discount the likes of Oppo and Vivo who have been actively seeking to innovate with each passing premium device.

A lot of mid-range smartphones – and even budget devices – are looking to fight a different battle (they’re in the 48MP or more camera game) but it’s likely that low-light photography will be a key selling point for them as well.

And then there’s Apple, a company who attempts to fiercely guard any leaks pertaining to its yet-to-be launched iPhones of the year. Surprisingly, there has been very little known about what kind of innovation might come in the 2019 iPhones. However, we won’t be surprised if Apple too has a surprise or two up its sleeve for low-light photography. The smartphone wars are about to get really interesting and almost every brand will be taking a shot in the dark but it won’t be figurative.

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