We've already stressed the need for Samsung to up the ante in the camera department for its flagship smartphones. Its competitors are doing some very interesting things in this area. Samsung certainly doesn't want to lag behind so it's a good sign that it has been working on further improving its camera technologies.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics has announced that it's now mass-producing a 5x optical zoom camera module. This means that the component is ready for use in smartphones. The question is, which Samsung phone will be the first to get it?
The new 5x optical zoom camera won't protrude from the back
The announcement follows Samsung's reported acquisition of Israeli camera technology company Corephotonics. It had designed 5x and 10x telephoto solutions for companies like Oppo previously. We have talked about how this acquisition will vitalize Samsung's mobile cameras before.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics started developing camera modules in 2003. It made the world's first dual camera module with image stabilization as well as the variable aperture module which debuted with the Galaxy S9. Its latest creation is actually thinner than a 6mm conventional 2x optical zoom lens.
The 5x module is just 5mm thick which means that it would be able to sit flush with the body of the smartphone. It would be a significant design improvement if the module were to not protrude from the back. This was done by arranging the sensor and lenses sideways and by utilizing the principle of reflecting light in a periscope. That's the same principle that Corephotonics had used for its designs. It allows for a longer telephoto lens to be fit inside a slim device.
So, will we get to see it in the Galaxy Note 10? Samsung's next flagship is rumored to have a vertical rear camera setup, not unlike the iPhone. It's within the realm of possibility for the Galaxy Note 10 to get the 5x optical zoom module. However, there's an interesting rumor out today from @UniverseIce, who claims that “the most creative Samsung smartphone” in the second half of this year won't be the Galaxy Fold or the Galaxy Note 10. Without revealing any specifics, he says that “you just have to wait.”
Samsung has recently developed a habit of introducing new technologies with mid-range devices. The Galaxy S10 wasn't its first device with a punch hole display, it was the Galaxy A8s which didn't see a wide release. Or the fact that the Galaxy A9 (2018) was not just Samsung's but the world's first quad-camera smartphone. So the possibility remains that there might be an entirely new device in the second half of this year with this camera module. Like many of you, though, I'll keep my fingers crossed for the Galaxy Note 10 as well.