As details of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 continue to come out, it’s clear that Samsung is both refining the design of the Galaxy S8 family and outfitting the flagship phablet with technology that it hopes will sell the handset and award it ‘number one smartphone’ status. And key to that recognition will be Samsung’s continued proficiency in imaging technology, and the inclusion of a dual camera system.
The most recent leaks involve CGI renderings of the phablet from technical drawings. From these renders it’s clear that the rear of the Note 8 has two camera lenses alongside the flash and the awkwardly placed fingerprint reader previously discussed here on Forbes.
Dual camera systems on smartphones are not new, with the iPhone 7 Plus debuting Apple’s offering last year. Handsets such as the HTC One M8 from 2014 introduced the system which can be seen on current handsets such as the LG G6, Huawei P9 and the OnePlus 5. Samsung itself was reportedly considering a dual camera system for both last year’s Note 7 and this year’s Galaxy S8 family.
— /LEAKS (@Slashleaks) July 10, 2017
But it’s not just the hardware that is necessarily the key to a dual camera system, it’s the software and what the second camera will accomplish.
There are two styles of dual camera photography that have taken off in smartphones. The first is the bokeh-style portrait photograph where the subject is in pin-sharp focus and the background is pushed out of focus. Thanks to the stereoscopic effect of two cameras, depth can be calculated in software to create this effect.
The second is to improve the zoom capabilities of a handset. Using two cameras gives you more data to play with, more information to process, and sharper images as a result of smart image manipulation in software.
Details of the cameras that Samsung will use are not as prolific as case designs, but the current expectation is for both cameras to have optical stabilisation and a telephoto system that will accommodate 3x optical zoom. No doubt Samsung will be able to offer the bokeh portraits in software as well.
The Galaxy Note 8 is already packed with features, but it is the dual camera that is going to really sell the Note 8 when it arrives. Samsung already has a strong claim to have the smartphone with the best performing camera in the Galaxy S8. Of course that is only a single lens system, and while it may be demonstrably better, the perception that ‘two is better than one’ is one that (rightly or wrongly) consumers can understand.
Couple Samsung’s prowess with imaging software and hardware, alongside the perception of having the latest and most powerful technology and you have the Note 8‘s winning combination. Assuming Samsung can deliver on the promise, the dual camera will be the Note 8’s star player.