Manufacturer Huawei is receiving heavy criticism after passing off DSLR camera photos as photos from their new smartphone.

While smartphone cameras can take decently stunning photos, they can’t compare with digital single-lens reflex cameras. Despite this, phone manufacturers continue to extol the wonders of smartphone camera quality.

This, in itself, is not inherently bad at all; however, Huawei just took things too far. We have written about the company before, but in a bit better of scenarios.

In the end, it was a Reddit user who caught Huawei lying and reminded us that the company almost got away with this before.

image of the Huawei Egypt ad for article Huawei Outed for Disingenuous DSLR Photo Usage
A still from the Huawei ad in question featuring the “beauty filter”

A Questionable Practice Outed on Instagram

Huawei recently released its latest Nova 3 model, touting its camera capabilities. One of its main features involves a “beauty filter” ideal for selfies.

One of the company’s recent ads focused on this filter, featuring a notable actress.

Sarah Elshamy starred in an ad for Huawei Mobile Egypt, but she also posted “behind the scenes” photos on her Instagram. Though the photo has been deleted, Android Police found the photo as you can see below.

It’s the same shot as the photo above, but from another perspective. You can clearly see the male actor’s empty hand, void of the Nova 3 phone. You can also see a far nicer camera set up for the photograph.

image of a behind the scenes Huawei ad photo for article Huawei Outed for Disingenuous DSLR Photo Usage
No Nova 3 camera present in this BTS now-deleted Instagram photo

Huawei never explicitly said this photo came from the Nova 3. But they didn’t go out of their way to provide transparency for potential buyers. Reddit user AbdullahSab3 originally noticed the issue and pointed this out, as well, translating the Arabic text.

“Product characteristics and actual specifications may vary (including but not limited to appearance, color, size), as well as actual presentation contents (including but not limited to backgrounds, user interface, and controls).”

Not a huge issue, if a bit shady, but this isn’t the first time Huawei has done this.

image of The supposed P9 smartphone photo actually taken with a DSLR camera for article Huawei Outed for Disingenuous DSLR Photo Usage
The supposed P9 smartphone photo actually taken with a DSLR camera

A Rehash of the P9 Smartphone DSLR Scandal

It would be different if Huawei didn’t have a history of pulling moves like this for ads.

As reported by Android Police in July 2016, Huawei only removed a photo for their P9 smartphone after someone leaked the metadata for the image they claimed showcased the photo capabilities of the smartphone.

The EXIF metadata revealed that a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (which retails for around $4,500 USD) took the photo. Despite this explicit evidence, Huawei claimed they did not imply or mean to suggest that that photo came from the P9. It was “inspiration” for users.

Should companies conduct more transparent marketing practices in the future or will conscientious buyers outsmart the charades?

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