One of the hottest trends in the smartphone industry this year is the inclusion of a triple-lens system on flagship phones. While some brands are starting to release phones with four rear cameras, triple-lens system is going to be an essential feature of any 2019 flagship phone.
Rumors of the iPhone adopting triple-lens system surfaced in April 2018. Economic Daily News claimed that at least one 2019 iPhone model would come with three rear cameras. Yuanta Securities analyst Jeff Pu also made a similar claim in the following month.
The first credible report of the triple-lens system appeared in January when reliable tipster @OnLeaks and Digit.in published purported renders of the 5.8-inch 2019 iPhone model. The renders reveal a rear square bump at the top left corner of the phone which houses three camera sensors.
The rear square camera bump may be unsightly for some, but a report suggests that Apple has gone to great lengths to integrate the bump into the phone as much as they can. It is said to be a part of a single glass panel made from a new and unique material. In addition, Apple deliberately designed the bump to enclose three smaller individual bumps surrounding the camera lenses to give a 3D effect.
Each camera lens will be surrounded by a thin ring which will match the color variant of the iPhone. The camera lenses are also specially coated in black so that they can blend in better with the surrounding bezel to look less conspicuous.
The Wall Street Journal reported days later that new camera features are going to be the main highlight. Aside from re-affiriming rumors of a triple-lens system on the flagship model(s), the WSJ said the successor of the iPhone XR will have a dual-camera module.
Bloomberg shared more details about the triple-lens system in February; it believes the third camera is able to capture a larger field of view and enable a wider range of zoom. The three cameras are also believed to help take more pixels to be used with a software feature to "automatically repair a photo or video to fit in a subject that may have been accidentally cut off from the initial shot”.
9to5Mac reported that there would be a new feature called Smart Frame which captures the area around the framed area in photos and videos so that users can adjust the framing or apply automatic perspective and crop corrections. The extra information will be kept temporarily and removed automatically for privacy reasons.
In a report released last week, Bloomberg revealed the "Pro" models can take higher resolution images that can rival some traditional cameras, deliver better low-light imaging performance and have significantly improved video recording capabilities.
As for the front camera, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed it will be upgraded from 7MP to 12MP. It will also use a 5-element lens component, which is different from the 4-element lens used on the current iPhones. According to 9to5Mac, the upgraded front camera can support slow motion video recording at 120fps. Live Photos will be enhanced to take double the length of the video from three seconds to six seconds.