Based on all the recent Pixel 3 leaks, we’ve gotten a pretty clear picture of Google’s next phone. And with Apple’s big spring launch event scheduled for next week, we’ll finally have official details about the rumoured iPhone Xs family as well. But today a leaked image appearing to show Nokia’s next phone hit the net, and it’s looking like an entirely different beast.
Wow! Nokia's upcoming flagship device with Penta- Camera Zeiss setup has been leaked by ithome china! What could it be? Nokia 9 or 10 or maybe something totally different? We'll have to wait and watch!#Nokia#Nokia9#Nokia10 pic.twitter.com/QHzSq4V9ce
— Ishan Agarwal (@ishanagarwal24) September 6, 2018
For some people, just looking at the back of this phone may be enough to evoke some uncomfortable trypophobia vibes. It’s like a wild, techno-spider head is staring back at you, comprised of five separate camera lenses, what is almost certainly a flash, and one spot left over for who knows what (laser autofocus, perhaps?).
But after you shake off the heeby jeebies, the thought of equipping a phone with five cameras isn’t actually that ridiculous. Huawei already put three cameras on the back of the P20 Pro, which resulted in some pretty impressive shots, and with five cameras, Nokia would have even more flexibility over what kind of photos its next smartphone can take.
On the P20 Pro, each camera has a different purpose: A monochrome sensor for capturing extra detail, a 3x zoom lens for extra reach, and a 40-MP RGB sensor for handling everything else.
With two extra cameras, Nokia could have one dedicated to wide-angle shots, while another could be reserved specifically for low-light photos — something OnePlus has experimented with on the OP5T.
But the most tantalising prospect is if Nokia can combine the data from all of its camera sensors to achieve results similar to the Light L16, which enables users to adjust the focus and depth of field of their photos long after a shot has been taken.
Nokia explored similar tech through its Refocus app back in 2013, but the addition of multiple cameras could give Nokia the ability to capitalise on the promise of a multi-lens camera setup in a way that Light’s 16-camera device never really achieved.
When you combine this leak with Nokia’s re-acquisition of the PureView trademark, it seems as though Nokia may have some pretty major camera enhancements in store for its upcoming phone. That is, just so long as Nokia doesn’t scare everyone off with that bug-eyed camera arrangement first.