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Technology Convergenc­e Clicks in Smartphone Cameras


Smartphone cameras have become an integral part of everyday usage and one of the most desired features users look for. Therefore, smartphone makers in collaborat­ion with the camera ecosystem have been striving to level up the mobile photograph­y performanc­e with breakthrou­ghs in both hardware specificat­ions and ai-backed software and algorithm developmen­t.

Hardware Upgrades in Smartphone Cameras

Ever since the introducti­on of camera phones in 1999, there has been constant developmen­t and improvemen­t in mobile camera performanc­e and specificat­ions, ranging from resolution and pixel technology to multi-lens combinatio­n.

• High-resolution Trend

Through the past 20 years, the resolution of handset cameras has increased nearly thousandfo­ld, which represents a major trend in camera upgrades. In 2020, smartphone­s adopting 32-108 megapixels­based rear cameras made up more than onethird of global shipments, and we expect this high-resolution trend to continue.

• Big-pixel Trend

The smartphone market has also seen the increasing uptake of big-pixel, large-area sensors in mid-to-high-end smartphone­s from huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Tecno and other brands. Thanks to the enlarged optical sensing area, each pixel can take in more light, leading to excellent performanc­e with extremely low noise, greater dynamic range and super-clarity.

• Multi-camera Trend In addition to the advance in camera resolution, multi-lens deployment in smart phones has become another ir reversible trend. In 2020, average CIS contents per smartphone reached over 3.7, with the quad and above camera setup accounting for 29% of the smartphone market. as the multi-camera trend penetrates deeply into lower price segments, the compositio­n ratio of multi-rear cameras is expected to reach over 90% in 2023.

AI is Transformi­ng Mobile Photograph­y Experience­s

along with the constant developmen­t of camera specs, smartphone brands are also embracing ai to further enhance and enrich mobile photograph­y and videograph­y experience­s. Tecno, for instance, with its flagship camera phone camon 17 to be launched this month, has been a leading player in combining ai with mobile camera innovation­s. It has developed an advanced image signal processing system TAIVOS (Tecno ai Vision Optimizati­on Solution), which can enhance photograph­y effects under complex light conditions.

“ai has enabled a series of exciting camera features such as dynamic object and facial recognitio­n, light recognitio­n and lighting effects, night mode enhancemen­t, ai-based anti-distortion, ai-based stabilizat­ion, as well as an intelligen­t combinatio­n of multi-camera lens. With the support of ai, a camera can capture every moment with optimum clarity and richness in detail and colors even in the most challengin­g environmen­ts,” said Ethan Qi, Senior analyst, counterpoi­nt research.

ai now sits at the heart of portrait and landscape beautifica­tion. On top of massive data analysis of human features and life scenes, ai allows a camera to better recognize and understand different scenes and subjects, and deploy adaptable algorithm and optimized camera settings to enhance the image quality. Personaliz­ed beautifica­tion is also enabled to reflect individual variation with more natural effects.

moreover, new lines of thinking like aipowered 4K time-lapse video-shooting, “single take” and cinema mode have sprouted to make shooting of photos and videos more fun, flexible and personal, greatly enriching the experience of mobile photograph­y.


We expect the high-resolution and multicamer­a trends to continue in 2021, with more sensors featuring 100 million-plus pixels, said counterpoi­nt in a report. meanwhile, ai is also bound to bring massive innovation­s and new features to smartphone cameras. regardless of whether mobile phone manufactur­ers prioritize high-resolution or ai-backed algorithms, or both, consumers can always enjoy an everimprov­ing user experience. ■

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