Up periscope! Take a gander at the key component for the Galaxy S11+ "Space Zoom" feature

Up periscope! Take a gander at the key component for the Galaxy S11+ "Space Zoom" feature
The latest rumor calls for Samsung to unveil its first 2020 flagship line February 18th in San Francisco At the same event, the company will introduce its second foldable phone. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which costs $1,980 and folds along the vertical axis, the Galaxy Fold 2 could be priced as low as $840 and folds along the horizontal axis. Resembling the Motorola razr, the Galaxy Fold 2 will be a pocketable device that stays hidden until you need to open it so it can be used as a phone. Compare that to the more unwieldy Galaxy Fold which opens to reveal a huge 7.3-inch tablet.

As for the Galaxy S11 line, once again we should see three different variants, the Galaxy S11e, Galaxy S11, and the Galaxy S11+. Unlike past years when Samsung powered its flagship models with its own Exynos chip in most regions and employed the Snapdragon SoC in just a few countries like the U.S. and China, this year there could be a big change. A report out of South Korea just a few days ago noted that Samsung executives feel that Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform outperforms the Exynos 990 SoC; as a result, the Galaxy S11 family will be powered by Qualcomm's chip everywhere but Europe where the Exynos 990 chip will be found under the hood. The Galaxy S11+ could sport a massive 5000mAh battery.

Zoom is one area of smartphone photography where software isn't the perfect answer


Smartphone photography continues to be a major battleground and with Apple taking the iPhone to a new level this year, Samsung is expected to fire back. Indications are that Sammy will look to improve its telephoto game in 2020 with the use of a periscope optical zoom module that will be used on one of two telephoto cameras on the Galaxy S11+. One of the telephoto cameras is rumored to provide 2x optical zoom while the other, sporting the periscope module, will deliver 5x optical zoom. In conjunction with the 108MP sensor on the Galaxy S11+, we could see Sammy's top-of-the-line model give users the opportunity to enjoy 50x hybrid zoom and 100x digital zoom. This feature could be marketed under the name "Space Zoom." Tipster Ice Universe (@UniverseIce) recently shared a photo showing the periscope optical zoom module that is expected to be found in the Galaxy S11+.


Earlier this year, Samsung acquired Corephotonics, the company that helped Chinese manufacturer Oppo develop the periscope zoom technology used on its 10x lossless zoom system. Samsung paid a reported $150 million-$160 million for the outfit, which has approximately 150 zoom-related patents. This could prove to be a major acquisition for Samsung. While computational photography is the buzzword we've heard often over the last year, the truth is that zoom is just one of those features that require a true optical and mechanical approach instead of relying on software. Oppo introduced its 10x lossless zoom system at last year's MWC trade show in Barcelona.

The Galaxy S11+ could feature five sensors on the back including one weighing in at 108MP. This camera will employ pixel binning to produce enhanced 27MP photos. There should also be an improved ultra-wide camera, the two telephoto cameras, and a Time of Flight (ToF) depth sensor. This measures the time it takes for an infrared beam to bounce off of a subject and return to the phone; with this data, more accurate depth information can be collected for improved AR functionality, more natural bokeh blurs on portraits, and perhaps a secure facial recognition system.

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