Samsung's new 5x zoom camera may go in its 'most creative' 2019 phone instead of Note 10

Samsung's new 5x zoom camera may go in its 'most creative' 2019 phone instead of Note 10
If Huawei's access to Google services on Android ultimately gets blocked after the three-month "stay" of the White House executive order passes, Samsung may be the biggest beneficiary, according to 65% of the 1343 respondents in our survey

Who do you think will benefit the most from Huawei's Android license revocation?

The other Chinese phone makers
24.24%
Samsung, LG and other Android makers outside China
65.09%
Apple
10.67%


To battle Huawei, however, it's not enough only to rely on capricious geopolitical considerations, as the company didn't become the world's second largest phone maker without offering added value. Huawei is actually the only major handset maker that equips its flagship phones with 1080p displays, huge batteries and ultrafast charging, making them a breath of endurance fresh air in a sea of high-end phones that barely get you through the day. 

This season, it added another differentiating factor to its already stellar camera credentials, namely the periscope zoom lens on the P30 Pro whose combined lossless magnification goes up to 10x, though the "optical" part of it is 5x, and the rest is pixel-binning from the high-res sensor. Thus, if the competition wants to really have an answer to Huawei's phones and benefit from something more sustainable than government whims, it has to step up its camera game, and that is precisely what Samsung seems to be doing.

Korean media is reporting today that Samsung Electro-Mechanics (SEM) has developed a 5x periscope zoom camera module of its own, ready to go into mass production. The added value of the new kit is that it is just 5mm thin, against 6mm for a regular vertical telephoto lens that only allows for 2x magnification.

Samsung's 5x zoom module is thin and tiny

Samsung's 5x zoom module is thin and tiny


Samsung achieved this by using light refraction from a prism inside the module, just like on Huawei and Oppo phones, and squished the lens shape from a circular one to flatten it further. Samsung Electro-Mechanics supplied an example of what the periscope mechanism can do with the flower bed pictures below. The strip represents shooting with the main camera, then zooming in at the current 2x magnification of Samsung phones, and, finally, at the full 5x zoom the system is capable of.

The new module at the current 2x zoom of Samsung phones, and at the 5x periscope zooming it is capable of

The new module at the current 2x zoom of Samsung phones, and at the 5x periscope zooming it is capable of


Needless to say, periscope-type zooming is not a Samsung invention, as it has been bandied about for a few years now. Samsung is an early investor in the Israeli firm Corephotonics which pioneered dual cameras, telephoto and periscope zooming before it was cool, and lined up several clients as far back as 2017, including Oppo

On top of that, Largan Precision, one of Apple's main camera element suppliers, revealed last summer that a multi- and periscope lens boom will be happening en masse this year, and so far they seem to be right. Currently, phones use mostly telephoto lens for faux 2x or 3x magnification, while the kit in the P30 Pro or Oppo Reno uses "optical" zooming with a periscope system tucked inside fairly thick bodies, or housings where the rear camera protrudes significantly from the surface.

Is the Note 10 camera going to sport 5x zoom?


The Galaxy S10 5G sports six cameras in total, but only goes up to 2x telephoto zoom. While the Note 10 may rework the kit a bit more, we doubt that Samsung's new module will be featured there. In fact, there are already rumors from credible sources exactly how the camera kits will play out among the two Note 10 and Pro models that Samsung is likely to issue this year.

Korean media probed Samsung's supply chain sources last month to learn that the Note 10 will land with the hexa-camera set of the Galaxy S10 5G. That's four cameras at the rear and two at the front or a record in the industry, as the Nokia 9 PureView also has six cameras, just five on the back.

The rumored smaller Note 10 version, however, which is said to be destined mainly for the European market, is allegedly coming with the penta-camera set without the time-of-flight sensor, as found on the S10+

The smaller Note 10 may sport a rear camera set straight out of the S10+

The smaller Note 10 may sport a rear camera set straight out of the S10+


The new 5x zoom module of Samsung can fit into thin handsets without protruding, and we can't wait to see the final design of the Galaxy that will eventually land this module. There is nothing mentioned about the Note 10 in today's report, though, so perhaps Samsung will keep the surprise for another phone altogether.


Related phones

Galaxy Note 10
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB

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13 Comments

1. strawberry

Posts: 66; Member since: Feb 20, 2019

after huawei is banned, samsung camera now number 1

2. Fred3

Posts: 389; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

The S10 5g all ready beat Huawei's

8. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1005; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

I love my Note 9's camera, but the Pixel 3's camera is still dominant. And all of that is done with a single lens. The s10's didn't really improve upon the quality, just added more options. The S10 5G might have a good camera but even if it's "better" it's only a placeholder until the Pixel 4

12. Dealler

Posts: 22; Member since: May 03, 2019

But honestly, who cares about pixels?

3. redmd

Posts: 1910; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Am i the only one who's sad on Huaweis ban?

5. drunkenjay

Posts: 1645; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

not really, i dont use huawei phones.

4. Rafishant

Posts: 393; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

No, waiting for Nokia flagship this fall.

6. oldskool50

Posts: 711; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

I don't see how what's going on with the US Gov't and Huawei, have anything to do with this camera you SHOULD be talking about. No one in the US give a crap about Huawei, because they don't sell products here. You all continue to ride any negatives on any Android manufacturer, but you cover up any negatives about Apple. Huawei's problem is their problem. Why keep talking about it, in a article that has NOTHING to do with them directly.

9. apple-rulz

Posts: 1896; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Why does Apple occupy so much space in your mind?

10. sissy246

Posts: 6997; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Like Samsung does yours, lol

11. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 884; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

If USA doesn't give a crap about Huawei, why did they ban it? There are plenty of other Chinese OEMs which are welcomed like Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc. Why ban only Huawei? Coz Apple & Samsung are scared of the rise of Huawei. Fyi, huawei is the biggest supplier of smartphones in the world.

13. Dealler

Posts: 22; Member since: May 03, 2019

No, it´s not. Samsung is.

7. surethom

Posts: 1610; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Personally I would like every phone that costs more then £500 to have a at least 2x optical zoom & every phone costing more than £700 to have 5x optical zoom.

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