We moved from a time where all you wanted was a phone that can make calls outside your house, to having a mobile phone that had a colour screen and polyphonic ringtones. Then to an age when phones could connect to the internet and have the memory that could house more than 1,000 songs – and still have apps on it. Mobile companies have moved with the times, and how they have shifted their focus on the camera.
The camera is one feature that has been used over the past decade to keep track of our lives and used to connect with family and friends through platforms like video calling. The sudden move by mobile companies to focus on the camera shows how necessary this one component is – it's the next major focus across the board.
On November 3, 2017, Apple introduced its flagship phone, the iPhone X. It blew the market away with its 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel front camera – that comes in handy with its facial-recognition software. Much as the focus was on the phone's new design – with the notch screen and the facial recognition which unlocks the phone, as well as the portrait mode, to make pictures look clearer
The camera introduced new features like portrait-mode selfies, which make it possible to blur out backgrounds to get the perfect depth in your picture via TruDepth. The camera maps out your facial expression to create an emoji. The "depth-sensing cameras and precise facial mapping create striking studio‑quality lighting effects." This is all possible due to the 7-megapixel front camera.
The rear camera houses not just one, but two 12-megapixel cameras. They "have optical image stabilisation and fast lenses for outstanding photos and videos even in low light".
The focus on the camera was even more pronounced on March 11, 2018 – at the World Mobile Conference, where Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S9 and S9 plus.
Samsung made very clear from the outset that they are in the camera race, with their slogan "Camera Reimagined".The phones house 8-megapixel front cameras and a 12-megapixel camera on the S9, and a dual camera on the S9 plus, for a 2x optical zoom and live focus with bokeh filters. In simple English, it's a background blur effect.
The camera has features like night mode, which helps take pictures under low light. The picture quality under natural lighting will leave you questioning if this is real. The video features consists of 4K video recording at 30 fps or 60fps, 1080p and 720 HD video recording, and a digital zoom up to 8x on the Galaxy S9 – or up to 10x on the Galaxy S9. The camera is powerful enough to give up pictures extremely close to what a professional photographer could give you with their DSLR camera. Samsung really has 'reimagined' the camera.
As Samsung pushed Apple out the way in the camera space, one company was sitting in the background and waiting to showcase their camera – and it would be a game changer regarding what a camera on a mobile phone can actually do. Meet the Huawei P20 pro.
The phone has surpassed its rivals as one of the best cameras by specs released so far. The Hauwei P20 Pro comes with a 24-megapixel front camera, along with a 40-megapixel rear camera, and as if that wasn't enough, they added a telephoto 8-megapixel camera. It does not end there – for better pictures under low light, they have also added a 20-megapixel monochrome camera on the rear. That's a total of three cameras on the back.
The three cameras house enough pixels to make you consider using a DSLR camera over everything else. The picture quality of P20 pro contains a lot of detail, and this is only possible with the help of the 40-megapixel camera in the rear – it helps with the image clarity and sharpness. Huawei has also introduced Pixel Fusion, which allows more light into the lens to get better lighting when taking pictures or shooting a video.
The camera war is on, and it's hard to say where mobile phones are going from this point onwards. Once the iPhone X was the leader. A couple of months later, we have phones like the P20 Pro – which are way better than DSLR cameras with 24 megapixels. Technology has evolved, and it will look even brighter and clearer.
P.S. Here is a picture taken with a Canon 760D DSLR camera.