Nokia's exclusive partnership ends as Sony starts using ZEISS optics for Xperia phones

Nokia's exclusive partnership ends as Sony starts using ZEISS optics for Xperia phones
Along with the three new smartphones revealed this month, Sony announced a partnership with ZEISS, the optics company that's making lenses for smartphones among other things. Of course, that's a great thing for Xperia fans, but the implications of the announcement run a bit deeper than that.

As some of you probably know already, some of the Nokia flagships are using the ZEISS optics as well, or at least the cameras and software includes on these devices have been calibrated by the German company.

HMD Global, the company behind the Nokia phones, announced about three years ago an “exclusive partnership” that allowed the Finnish company to include ZEISS lenses inside Nokia cameras. Well, that exclusivity seems to have run out, as Sony will now benefit from the collaboration with ZEISS as well.

In a press release issued early this week, Sony mentions that its new flagship smartphone the Xperia 1 II will be the first to include ZEISS optics:


Although it might not be obvious from the wording in the official statement, the Xperia 1 II doesn't actually feature ZEISS lenses. A Sony representative told us that the flagship still packs Sony lenses, but they have been calibrated by ZEISS.

As far as the collaboration with HMD Global goes, the Finnish company confirmed it will continue to develop “exclusive experiences together with ZEISS,” which could mean anything from calibrating lenses to adding ZEISS optics inside Nokia phones.

ZEISS-branded cameras were an important differentiator factor for Nokia flagships, but now that it's gone, it's probably time for the Finnish company to focus on further improving the camera quality or come up with something new.

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