Samsung shared details about its new Galaxy A8 smartphones, which both include a dual-lens setup for their front-facing cameras.
Next year’s Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S9 smartphone, is rumored to have a similar front-facing camera setup.
Adding a second lens to the front-facing camera could enable Portrait Mode selfies, which you can currently take on Apple and Google’s flagship phones but not Samsung’s.
Samsung’s recently-announced mid-range smartphones, the Galaxy A8 and A8+, include a feature that’s also expected in next year’s Samsung flagship phone, the rumored Galaxy S9.
Samsung shared details on Tuesday about the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+ smartphones, which both include a dual-lens setup for their front-facing cameras. So far, this dual-camera configuration has primarily been seen on the rear-facing cameras for popular smartphones, but not so much with front-facing cameras.
On rear-facing cameras, the dual-lens setup tends to improve image quality and enable features like Portrait Mode, which Samsung brands as “Live Focus.” The camera trick allows for stylized photography with a sharp foreground and blurred background, which is known as a “bokeh” effect.
Samsung’s product specifications for the Galaxy A8 and Galaxy A8+ indicate that the dual-lens front camera does enable Live Focus, meaning users will be able to capture selfies with a bokeh effect. Many of Samsung’s international mid-range devices often test features that may be included in its premium devices for the upcoming year. Consumers saw hardware features, such as 6GB of RAM on the China-exclusive Galaxy C9 Pro in March before Samsung released the Galaxy Note 8 with 6GB of RAM in September. Similarly, the Galaxy A8 coming in January may serve as a testing bed for a similar dual front-facing camera system for the Galaxy S9.
Samsung Galaxy A8 Specifications
Samsung Galaxy A8
The new dual-lens front-camera setup on the Galaxy A8 includes one 16-megapixel lens and one 8-megapixel lens; oddly enough, its rear camera only features a single-lens.
Recently-leaked renders, which are currently live on the website for the UK vendor Mobile Fun, suggest the Galaxy S9 may also feature a single-lens rear camera, while the larger Galaxy S9+ may feature a dual-lens rear camera. The Galaxy S9 renders also show the fingerprint sensor placed below the camera module; in this year’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, the fingerprint sensor is to the right of the camera module.
We’ve already heard a few rumors suggesting a dual-lens front-camera for the Galaxy S9. Sources told the Korea Herald that a dual-lens front camera setup is unlikely for the Galaxy S9 because Samsung wants the feature to be exclusive to the Galaxy A mid-range series. Other recent leaks, supposedly of the Galaxy S9 front panel, indicate the device may have only one front-facing camera lens.
However, it could be beneficial for Samsung to consider a dual-lens feature for its 2018 flagship as its top competitors already have devices on the market with Portrait Mode enabled for the front camera.
Google’s Pixel 2 features a single-lens rear camera that can shoot in Portrait Mode thanks to software optimization, and its single-lens front-facing camera works in the same fashion. Apple’s iPhone X features a dual-lens rear camera and a single-lens front camera, both of which can capture images in Portrait Mode.
As for the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Samsung may choose to enable its Live Focus feature in a single-lens configuration for both phones’ front and rear cameras.
It’s also possible Samsung could limit this feature to the larger Galaxy S9+, similar to what Apple did with the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and the older iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Samsung has yet to confirm any details about the Galaxy S9; however, the latest leaks and rumors suggest the device may have a similarly tall “Infinity display” aspect ratio, like the Galaxy S8. Reports also suggest the Galaxy S9 may release with a slightly bigger battery capacity.
The Galaxy S9 may be announced in late February, during Mobile World Congress (MWC), according to Bloomberg. Last year, Samsung opted to announce the Galaxy S8 in a standalone event after MWC.