10 Android smartphones that feature laser autofocus cameras

10 Android smartphones that feature laser autofocus cameras
It took a while — longer than a year, actually — but the innovative laser autofocus system that first made its appearance on the LG G3 has actually made it to no less than nine other Android smartphones. We knew there was something to it ever since we saw the laser beams firing from the LG G3's sensor and helping it focus quickly and accurately on objects from the scene. So it makes us feel especially cheerful that more manufacturers have discovered this technology for their own smartphones!

You might be unfamiliar with this tech, so here's the run-down. Laser autofocus employs a small laser emitter positioned on the back of the smartphone, near the camera lens. Upon taking a photo, the sensor beams out a short laser burst which is reflected back off whatever you've been pointing your camera at. The light enters the camera sensor and a software algorithm calculates how long it takes for the laser to leave and return, which acts as a measurement of the target object's distance.

But laser beams alone aren't a reliable enough method, for poor laser returns at long-distance objects, and issues with reflective or transparent services present an obstacle to laser autofocus' mission. This is why some smartphones also employ a contrast detection algorithm, which tasks the main image sensor with finding the difference between adjacent pixels. This results in a hybrid system which usually lets smartphone cameras focus quickly and accurately.

Now that you know what the big deal is, here are 10 smartphones by various manufacturers that use laser autofocus cameras.

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9 Comments

1. imkyle

Posts: 1115; Member since: Nov 18, 2010

And the G Flex 2.

4. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

And the 11th is the latest LG V10

2. vivek.wadhwa

Posts: 6; Member since: Mar 07, 2014

Nexus 6P

3. TyrionLannister unregistered

HTC M9 is the only flagship in 2015 without any kind of fast autofocus. Here are quick advantages and disadvantages of all: 1. Contrast detection: pros: can focus in pretty much any condition, gives that cool out of focus to in-focus effect. cons: very very slow and can't focus on objects which are monochromatic eg. a single colored flat wall as it has no contrast. 2. phase detection: pros: works very fast and is extremely accurate. cons: doesn't work as well in low light. 3. laser autofocus: pros: can be even faster than phase detection, works in low-light. cons: can't focus on transparent objects as laser passes through them eg. glass window.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

and hybridAF, in xperia M5 its combination of contrast detection and PDAF.. dunno if its any better than regular PDAF tough :-/

9. TyrionLannister unregistered

All phones with PDAF use hybrid AF. As when PDAF fails, it goes to contrast detection.

5. kefalin

Posts: 292; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

I wonder if its possible to put laser focus on front to assist selfie camera. Wouldnt that hurt your eyes?

6. plasteek

Posts: 265; Member since: Jun 07, 2015

Or a laser in front to burn the thieve 's eye when he steal your phone jajajaja !

8. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

LG G3 S/Beat and Asus Zenfone 2 Selfie also has Laser Auto...

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