Is 2016 The Year of the Dual Rear Camera Smartphone?

Huawei P9 Plus exploded lenses

What we’re looking at here is an “exploded” view of the lens assembly—sorry, assemblies—on Huawei’s new P9 Plus, launched together with the P9 this week in London. They are not the first smartphones with dual rear cameras (HTC tried it on the One M8) but Huawei’s system was designed in partnership with German camera-maker Leica, for whatever that’s worth.

The idea behind Huawei’s setup is this: one camera captures colour, the other black and white. Software merges the two images together, producing an image with vivid colours and perfect exposure. If it sounds like a gimmick don’t be too dismissive of it just yet; rumour has it that Apple will be using dual rear cameras in the forthcoming iPhone 7 as well.

MacRumors reports that, unlike Huawei, Apple’s dual camera system provides the user with two focal lengths for both photos and video. Here’s a young J. J. Abrams—sorry, Matt Gonzalez—to explain:

And here’s Alan Cumming—sorry, CNET’s Luke Westaway—for a hands-on with Huawei:

If nothing else a dual rear camera system has the potential to give the user better photos while OEMs continue their quest for impossibly thin phones. Maybe dual battery cells are next…?

Sources: Huawei UK (1) (2), Android Police, MacRumors

Leave a Reply