2020 Smartphone Camera Trends You Should Watch Out For

2019 had been great for both budding and experienced mobile photographers as more than a handful of smartphones with stellar imaging capabilities hit store shelves this year.

Looking back at 2019, handsets with three or four cameras at the back became a big trend in the midrange and high-end echelons.

These multi-camera set-ups were usually made up of a high-resolution primary camera (up to a whopping 64 MegaPixels, in fact), a secondary ultra-wide camera, a tertiary depth sensor, and either telephoto or macro fourth shooter for maximum imaging flexibility.

Some of the most popular 2019 cameraphones with the above-mentioned feature include the Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+, Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+, OnePlus 7 Pro, Vivo NEX 3, Vivo V17 Pro, Vivo S1 Pro, OPPO A9 2020, Realme 5 Pro, Realme 5, and Realme XT, among many others.

2020 Smartphone Camera Trends
Multi-Rear-Camera Module on 2019 Flagship Level Samsung Galaxy Note10+

For mobile consumers who didn't upgrade to a powerful cameraphone in 2019 and are thinking about finally making the jump in 2020, allow me to share with you the potential 2020 smartphone camera trends that are based on what chipset, optics, and handset manufacturers have disclosed over the past few months.

1. Up to 200 MegaPixels Photo Capture and 8K Video Recording

During the first week of December 2019, leading mobile SoC maker Qualcomm officially announced the all-new Snapdragon 865 flagship-level processor for 2020 premium smartphones. According to the company, the new Qualcomm Spectra 480 ISP, which is embedded in Snapdragon 865, will enable Android smartphones powered by it to capture professional-quality photos at up 200 MegaPixels as well as record 8K videos. On top of that, these handsets should be able to capture 4K HDR video and 64 MP photos simultaneously. (source)

2020 Smartphone Camera Trends
Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ are two of the best 2019 smartphones for imaging.

2. Faster and More Accurate AutoFocus plus Better HDR Output

Currently, Phase Detection still the leading AutoFocus method used on midrange to high-end cameraphones. In 2020, some handset makers are expected to make use of Sony's all-new 2x2 On-Chip Lens Solution, which some also describe as an All-Pixel AF solution as it features conventional on-chip lenses placed on each pixel. (source)

This industry-leading innovation from Sony makes use of dedicated pixels with image detection functionality to focus faster and more accurately on even the smallest subjects.

According to Sony, 2x2 On-Chip Lens Solution also supports Real-Time HDR output through a unique exposure control technology and signal processing function. This is particularly useful when shooting photos or recording videos in high contrast environments.

Samsung Galaxy Note10 Plus, 2020 Smartphone Camera Cameraphone Trends

3. Periscope Zoom on More Smartphones

OPPO Reno 10X Zoom was the first commercially available smartphone to make use of Periscope Zoom technology and it was quickly followed by Huawei P30 Pro earlier this year.

In 2020, other smartphone manufacturers are also expected to adapt a similar imaging innovation on their premium handset models. To be specific, various sources and insiders are claiming that Samsung's 2020 top-of-the-line smartphone, which is already being called Samsung Galaxy S20, will have a 108 MegaPixel primary camera supporting 5X zoom through a periscope set-up similar to OPPO's 2019 flagship. (source)

How important is Camera Quality to Smartphone Owners and Buyers?

Based on a survey among 1,894 smartphone owners in America in November 2018, 86% said that Camera Quality is one of most important features that they consider when buying a new smartphone. (source) This feature is the top five factors, which also include Battery Life, Ease of Use, Storage, and Durability.

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