Huawei is hard at work on the next entry in its hugely-popular flagship Mate smartphone series, dubbed Huawei Mate 30. The new handset, which follows the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro – a device T3 heralded as the best Android smartphone money can buy right now, certainly has big shoes to fill.
Fortunately, it sounds like Huawei is aware of the impossibly-high expectations for the next entry in the series and is throwing everything it has at the new flagship. According to the latest patent filed by the Shenzhen-based company – first spotted by those eagle-eyed folks at blog LetsGoDigital (opens in new tab) – it is looking to include a five-camera set-up on the back of the handset.
The official document, filed with the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), describes a first-party protective case for the as-yet unannounced smartphone that includes a rectangular camera cut-out will purportedly be large enough for the rear-mounted penta-camera system.
Increasing the number of lens on the back of the next-generation Huawei Mate handset to five makes a lot of sense.
After all, Huawei was widely praised for the triple-camera system on its predecessor, which enabled the company to include 3x optical zoom, as well as better low-light shots and artificial bokeh-style blur behind the subject in portrait photographs. The Huawei P30 series is already tipped to sport a quadruple-camera on the back, which an emphasis on AI capabilities.
In order to differentiate the Mate 30 from the Huawei P30 series and justify its typically-costlier price tag, the company could incorporate a fifth lens for new photography capabilities and features.
Samsung, currently the largest smartphone manufacturer worldwide – one spot ahead of Huawei on the podium, will purportedly include a triple-camera on its upcoming Galaxy S10 series. This will be a first for the best-selling Galaxy S range, although Samsung has previously launched a mid-range handset with a quadruple-camera set-up designed to appeal to "Instagram fans".
Abandoning its existing triple-camera system and skipping straight to five lens could make the latest Samsung hardware look outdated before it even hits shelves worldwide.
But while a five-camera system might seem excessive for a smartphone – especially when manufacturers like Google manages to offer many of the same features (low-light photographs, and bokeh blur for portrait shots) with only one rear camera – Huawei is not the only manufacturer looking at this technology.
Nokia 9, which is built and distributed by HMD Global, will purportedly sport five cameras in a star-shaped array on the back of the case. These can all be used to shoot images simultaneously, which Nokia reckons will allow its new flagship phone to capture 10x more light compared with 'regular smartphones'.
The Nokia 9 PureView, set to launch at MWC 2019 opposite the Huawei P30, will also leverage Google's imaging power to offer photographers the ability to alter the focus of an image after it has been taken. This process will be handled within the Google Photos app and should allow users to change create some artistic results.
It's unclear whether Nokia will allow smartphone owners to change the depth of field after an image has been shot with the penta-camera system. The Nokia 9 PureView will also focus on advanced HDR photography, according to the latest latest images of the forthcoming flagship.
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