Is Samsung's new quad-camera phone versatile or overkill?

Is Samsung's new quad-camera phone versatile or overkill?
Samsung went all-in with the camera kit on its new Galaxy A9 that was just announced as the world's first with four cameras. Wait, what? Yep, about the only thing missing is a monochrome sensor, but even without it this thing can cover most every photographic dilemma you might encounter.

The top shelf of the vertical quad-camera placement is reserved for the 8MP Ultra Wide-angle camera with f/2.4 aperture and a 120 degrees field of view. Right underneath comes the 2x zoom telephoto camera with 10MP resolution. A 24MP main sensor will take care of the low-light shots with the widest, f/1.7 aperture, while below the fold is the 5MP sensor for extra depth measurement in re-focused and portrait shots. 

What's next, a penta-camera setup with a black and white module added for extra measure just so that someone could yell "first!" Well, not really, as having both telephoto zoom and wide-angle lenses can turn very useful in many scenarios, while the depth sensor is sure to make post-focusing easier. On top of that photographic versatility, the A9 is a very capable midrange warrior, too, with huge OLED display, large battery, and, thankfully, a metal body that won't be easy to shatter when dropped. 

This is why we wanted to take your opinion on the quantity vs quality camera trend even though the setup on the Galaxy A9 has yet to prove itself in battle. We can't wait to pit it against the other camera versatility champ, LG's V40, too.

Is Samsung's new quad-camera phone versatile or overkill?

Versatile
21.6%
Overkill
31.79%
Depends on the pictures' quality
46.61%

Related phones

Galaxy A9 (2018)
  • Display 6.3" 1080 x 2220 pixels
  • Camera 24 MP / 24 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 660, Octa-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3800 mAh(23h 3G talk time)

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33 Comments

1. Basharhd99

Posts: 103; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

3 cameras: a wide angle, a normal one and a telephoto one: justifiable. The 4th one is there just so they can say they're the first to do it. This is shaping up to be v similar to the megapixel race from years ago, put more just so it looks better on paper. Already over it

20. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Given that I have already watched all the reviews on the topography of this device I must say the Camera quality if this phone is just horrendous. Only the main Camera results good enough pictures, all the others including are just gimmicks at best.

28. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1485; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

There are no in depth reviews of this phone yet, only short hands on reviews, which doesn't give you much to go on and most of those are positive, saying it delivers good quality photos in some challenging circumstances.

32. osterrich21

Posts: 190; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Why not 4 cameras? What the problem?

2. monkeyb

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

If it takes amazing pictures then why not. Beauty of the design is in the eye of the beholder. I always loved my friends Samsung phone pictures, they are so good in low light conditions that I am jealous. But I guess the 4 cameras can be arranged in a more fun way perhaps.

3. maherk

Posts: 7054; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Samsung released this phone only for bragging rights, they want to be the 1st to introduce 4 cameras on a smartphone. If you're depending on picture quality to call it versatile, then wait till they implement this in the S10 or S11.

4. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Probably overkill. An 8MP wide angle camera and a 5MP depth sensor? I'm not expecting good results. I wish that they had made one excellent one instead of this.

5. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

Google pixel can do with one and wipe competition floor with it. That being said I dont see why all OEM can’t do the same?

6. Heisenberg

Posts: 378; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Google is first a software company while others strength are in hardware

36. cncrim

Posts: 1590; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

No, Android is open source and any OEM can modify Linux Kernel. If you think about it, every company is android base and one look a like. Samsung was the first come up with short cut in notifications before everyone copy, Pixel cooperate Knox from Samsung. And if you fire up the Camera App none of them look a like, so any OEM is software company.

7. Xxtoxicskittlexx

Posts: 194; Member since: Jun 11, 2018

Always wanted an ultra wide in addition to the telephoto. I'll bookmark this page. I'll be curious if you ask for this poll once Timmy and Co. launch their "The Beauty of Three" or "ménage à trois" tag line for an upcoming idevice.

9. Lanx1998

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 06, 2017

Versatile although I would have a preferred a monochrome sensor in place of 5mp depth sensor.

10. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

Where is the option for 'Its an absolute JOKE!'?

12. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

They need that as an option to click every time you comment.

15. T12RYK

Posts: 849; Member since: Jun 10, 2011

Awwwwwww :-)

11. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Depends on the pictures' quality, but I still voted overkill.

13. tokuzumi

Posts: 1999; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

I haven't really seen a good use of multi camera setups on phones yet. Best has been LG with their wide angle. Also the Honor 5X used its second sensor to let in extra light for low light shots. Other than that, multi camera setups have been 100% gimmicks.

14. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1184; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

If you've been paying attention to the A series phones for past couple of years, you'd see that A series acts as a testing platform for new features so that they can test and refine new features before implementing these to S and Note line. IMO, we'll see at least a tripple cam on S10 and A9 gives them the opportunity to test 4 cameras to choose from and refine it before it's implemented in the flagships. A 4th Camera can be used for an entirely different purpose like AR, in future. We'll have to wait and see if it's useful or not.

17. Cat97

Posts: 2021; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Highly overkill.

33. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Cause the haters gonna, hate hate hate hate hate, Because Samsung is great great great great great, And Apple aways late late late late late. - Taylor Swift.

18. jjface

Posts: 270; Member since: Jun 07, 2017

I just want the sony phone division to talk to sony camera division and get a 1/2-1" sensor into a phone with decent processing, ois. I just don't understand why the one making all the phone cameras and has pretty decent proper cameras can't lead the market.

19. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2284; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I am hoping that the pics come out well. This will force everyone to change their pic game. The only thing I am asking for now is better low light shots. I believe we are almost near DSLR.

21. panrt321

Posts: 100; Member since: Aug 23, 2018

Only LG Best camera, wide, tele, and standard!!

23. phonefanboy

Posts: 51; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

Its "overkill" until Apples does it, than PhoneArena will declare it's revolutionary! With "articles" like this, it won't be long until PhoneArena writes a stupid article saying "don't say the Note 9 is liquid cool."

24. irossdrummer

Posts: 371; Member since: Jan 17, 2015

KINDA ugly, don't like that it's all vertical, a square of 2 by 2 would be better, but that's just nit picking

25. gamehead unregistered

Lets see some photos first

26. geordie8t1

Posts: 320; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

With all that space used for just camera hardware, isnt it time we are moving into increasing sensor size? I mean obviously not on this device as its a mid ranger but 3 cameras will be more common over the next 18 months and who knows samsung may even implement 4 on their flagships at some stage down the line, i would take a slightly thicker handset and 1 camera lens and bigger sensor over 3 or 4 cameras any day, we are long past nokia 1020 days, the tech has moved on, 1" can easily be fitted into a device nowadays without the need for such a big hump, i do except the size would increase a bit tho...

29. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

All the haters voted overkill. You know, the Samsung hating Apple fan club. Apple can't even beat one of Samsung caneras consistantly. So they don't even stand a chance here. If the S10 gets this setup, no phone on the planet even the Pixel won't even take better quality or wider photos. I don't understand the need for more than 2 caneras. But Samsung made a way for them to work it seems. I think it's a bit of overkill, but it is also versatile and samples from the caneras show the quality is be pretty damn good. Assuming the promos were done with the camera itself. If Apple had some this the haters woukd swear this was awesome. But because Samsung pushed it, they hate it. A 24MP with 1.7 is gonna be the clearest picture ever. Even the camera on the Lumia at 40MP will get beaten here.

30. kevin007in

Posts: 327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

samsung flagship in 2020 ..= 6 cameras

31. osterrich21

Posts: 190; Member since: Apr 14, 2017

Four cameras. Why not?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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