Chinese company has made a 360-degree camera that is small enough to fit in an iPhone 7 Plus

We are used to looking at 360-degree cameras as standalone balls, which you can’t imagine being housed within a smartphone, as an integrated unit. However, a Chinese company, named ProTruly, has already produced two overly large and odd-looking smartphones that sport built-in 360-degree cameras, and released them in China last December. The camera units in the devices were supplied by HT Optical – a company that has traded with brands, such as Olympus and Sony, and supplied components for Xiaomi’s Mi Sphere Camera.

Apparently, Endgadget had a chance to have a quick word with the HT Optical’s VP, Shu Junfeng, at MWC Shanghai, who gave him a sneak-peek of an unreleased ProTruly device that sported a small, 360-degree camera that would comfortably fit into a 7.6mm-thick smartphone.

The current ProTruly Darling, shown in the pictures below, measures 8.9mm in thickness and 181.4mm in height – looking like a ridiculously elongated phablet, with weird protuberant camera lenses near the back and front tops of the phone. However, the unit Junfeng unveiled for Engadget could be fit into a device the size of an iPhone 7 Plus (7.3mm thick) and easily be housed in thicker handsets, such as the Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones (8mm and 8.1mm thick, respectively).

What was also exciting about the smaller camera, was the fact that it is capable of snapping 16MP still images, which allegedly offer impressive zoom depth, and adds only a single millimeter to the device’s thickness. On top of this, the camera is also claimed to shoot videos in 4K resolution, which is on par with Samsung’s Gear 360 cam, with the exception that the last houses a 15MP unit, instead of 16MP.

The new ProTruly phones that allegedly sport the smaller 4K 360-degree camera are expected to launch in China on July 30th.

The handsets are unlikely to make their way to the western markets and are obviously intended for the upper tiers of Chinese shoppers, with current models selling at $800 (for a gold- and jewel-plated device) and $500 (for the ‘bling-less’ variant). However, HT Optical’s small 360-degree camera in the upcoming Darling models is certainly newsworthy and could serve as an example of what we may see in the future in smartphones in the west, but better-looking, hopefully.

source: Engadget



1. NoAllegiance unregistered

That has to be one of the worse designs ever.

3. TerryD

Posts: 544; Member since: May 09, 2017

I like the concept of a 360 camera. It looks pretty slim and you'd think it might integrate into a phone quite well but yes, that phone isn't easy on the eye is it?

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7209; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I think the Essential smartphone with it's snap on 360 camera for only $50 is a great design.

4. bucknassty

Posts: 1325; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Definitely weird!

8. Phonehex

Posts: 758; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

This design makes me wanna puke

2. Landon

Posts: 1244; Member since: May 07, 2015

Hideous design, but I'm definitely intrigued by the capabilities of the technology. I think the Essential phone 360 camera is a lot better implementation, though.

5. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Would have been pretty good if it were a universal accessory that you could attach to the USB Type C port on any Smartphone. Especially as it'll just be occasional use. But built in like the above Smartphones, that's just hideous to say the least.

6. Heisenberg

Posts: 373; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

PA is an Apple ass licker. Wondering why the subject says iPhone 7 plus when the product is for wide range of smartphones .

9. fiji.siv

Posts: 95; Member since: Nov 25, 2015

This would be a cool addition, as long as they don't take away the headphone ja... oh wait.

10. p51d007

Posts: 703; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Great...360 degree smartphone cameras...another gimmick for the selfie obsessed generation to jump up and down, stand in line for. That one won't make it into the iPhone though. Not "stylish" enough LOL.

11. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012


12. cheetah2k

Posts: 2213; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Its based on the 2 camera design like the Ricoh Theta 360 camera series, but more compact and uses the iphone storage/battery to power it.. I like it, but its definitely ugly

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