Camera capability of smartphones mainly focuses on two aspects: the performance of the camera itself and the camera apps. Now that Google and Huawei have both boasted about their outstanding photographing performance, Samsung this time seems to be catching up and reclaim its camera supremacy. It was expected that many useful camera features will be equipped on Galaxy S11, Samsung’s first flagship in early 2020. Thanks to XDA’s APK teardown, we can now take a look to see what the company is working on.
The first thing that may be added is 8K video recording technology. It is not too surprising, as the new Exynos 990 chipset supports the standard. And 8K is already optional in the Exynos 982x series which powers up for Galaxy Note 10 and S10 series. If you have a smartphone with 8K video recording, that means you will be offered a video capability doubling the 4K. On the other hand, higher resolution matches higher megapixels. For instance, most flagship phones have rallied around 12 megapixels as a standard, which supports the 8 megapixels 4K frame with enough headroom. While 8K equates to about 33.2 megapixels, requiring a higher resolution sensor. So it is likely that Samsung will push the standard to 108 megapixels to support the demand. It would not be the first phone to have such a high-resolution sensor, as we’ve seen it in Xiaomi Mi Note 10 and Mi Mix Alpha.
In addition to the features we listed above, there are some other possible changes like a 20:9 aspect ratio and some intriguing camera apps to choose from. One of them is the Director’s View Mode, which enables you to focus on a particular subject and “select who’s in the close-up.” This sounds like Samsung would provide a string of lenses and users could switch between different lenses for their different demands. The next one is Night Hyperlapse, which seems like it is related to Night Mode. But the description said that you need to keep the phone still, so it is more like a night time-lapse mode rather than a night hyperlapse. Single Take Photo can be the most impressive function because it will let you “start shooting to capture the scene in a series of pictures and short videos.” The system has captured a bunch of them when you pan your phone around. The last two, Vertical Panoramas and Custom Filters are also amazing. The former is very useful when taking pictures of skyscrapers and other tall subjects, and the latter enables you to save a picture from the gallery as a filter for future snaps.
Software support, camera sensor, and a powerful chip all together contribute to the processing of 8K video and 108MP photos. Samsung now has its Exynos 990 SoC, and Snapdragon 865 from Qualcomm is expected to come out in December. Apple’s iPhone 11 has set a good example in this aspect especially in video recording, but there’s no doubt 8K recording, Director’s View Mode and so on will help Samsung steal the crown once again.