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posted by Fnord666 on Monday July 10 2017, @03:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-clear dept.

HMD Global and Zeiss on Thursday announced that they had signed an agreement under which upcoming Nokia-branded smartphones will use Zeiss-branded optics exclusively. The companies said that they would co-develop imaging capabilities of future handsets, but did not elaborate when to expect actual devices on the market.

The collaboration announcement between HMD and Zeiss has a number of layers, all of which seem to be significant. First off, Nokia's future phones will use optics co-developed with a renowned designer of lenses. The important upshot here is that HMD is actually investing in the development of custom capabilities for its Nokia phones. Second, the two companies are talking about "advancing the quality of the total imaging experience", involving optics, display quality, software, and services, but do not elaborate. From the announcement, it looks like HMD will put R&D efforts not only into optics but will design its own software enhancements to improve imaging capabilities beyond those offered by vanilla Android. A good news here is that certain future phones carrying the Nokia brand are not going to rely completely on off-the-shelf hardware, software, and reference designs. Third, HMD announced that imaging is one of the areas that it considers important for its future smartphones. Finally, Zeiss will be used on Nokia-branded devices exclusively, which means that future halo smartphones from Microsoft (if the company decides to launch them) will have to rely on other optics.

Previously: Nokia Smartphones to Return in 2017
Nokia (HMD Global) Attempting U.S. Comeback With Midrange Android Smartphones

Original Submission

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Nokia Smartphones to Return in 2017 23 comments

A company set up by former Nokia employees called HMD Global has licensed the Nokia brand name from Microsoft, struck partnerships with device manufacturer Foxconn and intends to launch an Android smartphone in the early part of 2017.

The head of HMD Global, Arto Nummela, said: "Consumers may be carrying different smartphones now, but are they really in love and loyal to those brands?"

HMD Global will be looking to stir nostalgia in an effort to challenge the big and small players of the highly competitive smartphone market, dominated by Samsung and Apple, as well as Chinese brands such as Huawei.

Original Submission

Nokia (HMD Global) Attempting U.S. Comeback With Midrange Android Smartphones 29 comments

The Nokia 6 will be available in early July:

HMD Global — the Finnish company that owns the rights to manufacture Nokia-branded smartphones — announced earlier this year that it would be releasing new midrange Nokia Android phones in the United States. We now have more information on the first Nokia phone to hit Stateside: the Nokia 6, which will be available in early July for $229.

The Nokia 6 is the largest of the three Android phones HMD Global announced at Mobile World Congress, featuring a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage (expandable by microSD). On the software side of things, the 6 runs Android Nougat in its purest, unadulterated form — that means no bundled apps or overlaid skins. Plus, while the specs are decidedly average, the Nokia 6 does stand out with a metal unibody design built out of a single block of aluminum, which adds a premium touch to the otherwise midrange device.

Amazon is subsidizing the Nokia 6 by slapping ads on the lock screen.

Also at Engadget and CNET.

Original Submission

Leaked Image Shows Nokia-Branded Smartphone With Five Rear Cameras 18 comments

Leaked image teases Nokia phone with five cameras

HMD appears to be working on an impressive camera array for a future Android-powered Nokia handset. Leaked design sketches and images hint that we could be about to see a Nokia-branded phone with five cameras on the rear. The penta-lens setup first appeared in rumors about a Nokia 10 device earlier this year, and now an alleged photo has leaked of the handset.

The camera module includes five lenses arranged in what looks like a circle, with prominent Zeiss branding. HMD Global, the Finnish company that licensed the rights to produce Nokia phones, teamed up with Zeiss last year to reunite the Nokia and Zeiss brands for the Android era. HMD has started to use Zeiss optics in its latest Android handsets, and the lens maker has even patented a miniaturized zoom camera system that looks very similar to this leak.

F*** Everything, We're Doing Five Rear Cameras.

But you still have a long way to go.

Also at Engadget.

Previously: Nokia (HMD Global) Partners with Zeiss for Optics Capabilities
LG's V40 Smartphone Could Include Five Cameras (total)

Related: Nokia Smartphones to Return in 2017
Nokia (HMD Global) Attempting U.S. Comeback With Midrange Android Smartphones

Original Submission

Oppo Smartphone Camera System Includes 10x "Hybrid Zoom" 1 comment

Oppo confirms 10x zoom camera for smartphones

Oppo has confirmed that it's developing a smartphone camera system with a 10x zoom lens, as rumored. The tech is similar to the 5x zoom prototype the company showed off a couple of years ago, making use of the phone's lateral width to enable the necessary physical depth through the use of a periscope-style prism.

This time around the camera is 15.9-159mm-equivalent, meaning it'll start with an ultrawide perspective and zoom into medium telephoto. It's essentially three prime lenses in one, so Oppo's claim of "lossless" zoom might not quite be accurate throughout the entire zoom range, but it should be considerably [more] flexible nonetheless.

The system has optical image stabilization, but so far Oppo isn't saying anything about aperture, which has been the drawback of previous experiments with zoom lenses on phones. The Asus Zenfone Zoom, for example, had a 3x f/2.7-4.8 lens, and the results weren't great. Even the 2x f/2.4 "telephoto" lens on the iPhone XS turns in worse results than simply cropping the wider, faster primary camera except in the very best of lighting conditions.

The camera will be shown off at Mobile World Congress 2019 in February.

Also at Engadget.

Related: Nokia (HMD Global) Partners with Zeiss for Optics Capabilities
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Original Submission

Xiaomi Teams Up with Light to Develop Multi-Module Cameras for Smartphones 7 comments

Xiaomi Teams Up with Light for Multi-Module Smartphone Cameras

Xiaomi and Light, a computational imaging firm, have announced at Mobile World Congress that the two companies will be working together to develop new multi-module cameras for smartphones. The two companies promised that the jointly-developed cameras will feature DSLR-level capabilities, but did not disclose when the first product from the joint project is expected to come to fruition.

Light specializes on computational imaging solutions using multiple camera arrays. The company has gone so far as to develop their own chip that can work with 6, 12, or 18-camera arrays. And while Xiaomi and Light aren't specifying just how big of a camera array they're looking to develop, we're likely looking at something in the lower-bounds of those number, if only due to the limited size of smartphones. For reference's sake, a 6-module camera would be very similar to what Nokia has done for their Nokia 9 PureView.

Cover the entire back of a smartphone with cameras, then gingerly hold it using the corners.

Related: Meta-Lens Works in the Visible Spectrum, Sees Smaller Than a Wavelength of Light
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Nokia (HMD Global) Partners with Zeiss for Optics Capabilities
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LG's V40 Smartphone Could Include Five Cameras
Leaked Image Shows Nokia-Branded Smartphone With Five Rear Cameras

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Monday July 10 2017, @03:26PM (2 children)

    by TheRaven (270) on Monday July 10 2017, @03:26PM (#537140) Journal
    My partner bought a Nokia 1020 years ago, and the camera is still better than any Android phone that we've found. She'd keep the Nokia, except that it runs Windows Mobile 8.1 and has very few third-party apps and a web browser that struggles with modern pages (and hasn't had security updates for ages). Windows 10 doesn't run on it and no one has ported Android.
    sudo mod me up
  • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday July 10 2017, @05:50PM (2 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Monday July 10 2017, @05:50PM (#537209)

    You want to regain market share? Listen to the public screaming for something they can't get from the big guys: a slightly thicker phone with a really long battery life, pretty rugged and not sluggish, in the low hundreds of dollars range.
    A perfect camera is rarely in the top priority of people.

    • (Score: 2) by kazzie on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:23PM (1 child)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:23PM (#537647)

      I'll just stay here in this corner screaming for a phone with a physical keyboard (N900 style).

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:52PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday July 11 2017, @04:52PM (#537666)

        Seconded, as my last 4 phones would attest.
        Ideally I'd get a side-slider with a BB-like keyboard (for anyone who doesn't know, you can swipe the keyboard for delete, scroll or suggestion insertion, tap it to precisely move the cursor...)