iPhone 6 is the second phone to feature phase-detection autofocus, after the Galaxy S5


During the introduction of the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple spend some time talking about the new 'Focus Pixels' in the latest iSight camera. Behind the fancy name, though, lies a well-known technology that is typically used in SLR cameras. It's a different focusing technique from what's traditionally used in smartphones, and it's called phase detection autofocus. Hearing the name of the technology, some of our readers probably remember that the Samsung Galaxy S5, launched earlier this year, became the first smartphone to utilize phase detection autofocus. Now, the iPhone 6 (and its bigger version, the Plus) becomes the second smartphone to join this club.

The vast majority of smartphones today rely on 'contrast detection' autofocus, which analyzes the amount of contrast between nearby pixels to determine which area should be in focus. The downsides of this technique are that it tends to be less reliable in low-light environments, and it can be a bit slower, compared to phase detection. On the other hand, phase detection autofocus works in a totally different way - it analyzes the light rays coming through the lens in order to determine which object should be focused on. It's a fairly complicated process, but the bottom line is that phase detection, and Apple's 'Focus Pixels', allow the camera to focus in on an object in a quicker and more reliable manner. The Galaxy S5 proved that the technology works quite well in the context of smartphones, as its benefits could be easily felt by users. Now, we can expect the iPhone 6 to push things even further with its own implementation of phase detection.

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82 Comments

1. drakulinho

Posts: 18; Member since: Aug 25, 2014

Apple is copying SAMSUNG ;)

6. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

most people already know now that apple is phone that aim to be different and unique from android crowd, it's not the right phone if your looking for the best technology. so just leave them be, apple fan already know iphone is not the best if your looking for top specd phone, they love it for other reason.

8. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Yup they just want overpriced goods. Rich people~

37. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

slowly slowly apple is taking things from samsung and android.... still they blame samsung for copy, quite ironic... if samsung has done it(like finger scanner) there will be a huge out cry that samsung is a copy cat.... anyway, this time apple really have nothing in their sleeves which they called innovation

63. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

GO APPLE...

73. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

yes, go apple.... go to hell ;)

49. binerry

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 16, 2012

Umm, yeah, not quite. I'm not rich, but carriers subsidize so it's quite easy to purchase. Besides, Apple products have always out performed Android devices despite Android devices having "higher specs". That clearly goes to show that Apple has a much more optimized system, especially since iOS is more fluid than Android with lower specs. The general childish ignorance in PhoneArena hurts my brain and either makes more people stupid by actually believing what most kids say here, or people come here for the comedy, because damn if it isn't funny reading comments about Android fans (not all) but many just want to bash Apple when they clearly haven't experienced how awesome it is, otherwise most would shut up about it. /done rant

57. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

most of them used it, thats why they know the short comings of ios and this is the reason they bash apple... I myself owned ip4 & 4s, thats why I bash apple bcoz it took huge chunk of money out of my pocket for such a low end device(thats my fault though bcoz I got ifo0led)... otherwise I wont even bother to educate people about apple

65. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

No need to educate people, educate yourself, LoL. People knows what is best for them self. Lmao iDroid.

74. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

see? now here comes the ignorance... thats why I am emphasizing on educating people otherwise they will keep answering like you

64. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

+binarry Totally agree with you.

77. Topcat488

Posts: 1415; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

I'm a CDL Truck Driver, I carry a Note, soon to be Note Edge, and a iPhone, soon to be iPhone 6. One phone to do Multitasking, and the other for simple Apps, and telephoning. I'll let you guess which one i use for Multitasking. :)

9. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

lol though it's still piss me off at how they name some available technology with fancy name and trick people like it's different and their own technology.

25. phreezerburn

Posts: 44; Member since: Sep 09, 2014

Like the way some people fawn over the Kargashians.

30. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

The title is wrong. It's the fifth phone, after S5, Alpha, Note 4 and a Lenovo phone using SS's sensor

35. Jommick

Posts: 221; Member since: Sep 10, 2013

still waiting on the alpha, note 4, and lenovo z2 to be released...

38. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Well technically the iPhone 6 and 6+ isn't released yet either. I'm guessing they'll coincide or not too far apart from each other (at least the Alpha anyway)

41. farzad_funny

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 26, 2014

It's you're... You are looking for the best! Are all Apple fans this stupid in grammar??

66. aba71983

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 24, 2014

Not all Apple fan is stupid in grammar. It happen to all of us. Even Samsung fan, haha! We're not perfect...

76. T.Law

Posts: 423; Member since: May 10, 2014

Well, you have to be a lil stupid to buy iPhone.

43. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 359; Member since: Jan 10, 2014

Exactly Lolz.. PA One correction to make here. iPhone 6 is not the 2nd phone with phase detection Auto focus. Its the 3rd One bcoz 2nd phone will be the Mighty Note 4 :)

52. Iodine

Posts: 1478; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Mighty 6 will start selling sooner than the mighty note.

61. cheetah2k

Posts: 2213; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Just like their smartwatch that focuses on fitness and wellbeing LOLOL!!! Apple, bro, its been done before!! Now go away and actually Innovate!

82. vikingsfootball09

Posts: 112; Member since: Oct 02, 2013

yup, apple is copying with the phase detection and the 5.5 inch screen...what next, iphone with an spen? we already know about the notification center (android) and the fingerprint scanner (motorolla atrix)...and OMG, the back of the iphone 6 looks too similar to an htc. btw, all smartphones have rounded corners and some form of slide to unlock, but apple only sues samsung.

2. mistercarter

Posts: 360; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

i still prefer the G3 laser autofocus... it never fails

4. master-mkk

Posts: 214; Member since: Aug 27, 2014

yes but it make the phone camera in low-light very bad

5. WillieFDiaz

Posts: 127; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

It doesn't make the camera bad, the camera is not affected by the way it focuses, the camera is affected by the size of the pixels and the lenses. In night time, lasers will always work better than determining the light coming into a lens.

11. mixedfish

Posts: 1551; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

Problem is, it isn't a laser.

19. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I read it uses infrared Maybe proper laser in the G4?

21. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 2014

You're absolutely right "the laser autofocus" is actually just IR assist lamp. It's pretty similar with NightFrame on my father's Sony DSC F717, it uses the infrared illuminators to let you frame your subject even in total darkness. But Sony DSC F717 also features hologram AF it uses a Class 1 laser to paint a grid pattern on the subject and is perfectly safe, even when aimed directly at someone's eyes.

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