Smartphone photography has come a long way since the first iPhone was unveiled in 2007, with this year's iPhone 12 Pro Max even capable of shooting incredible cinematic video in Dolby Vision. But if new leaks are to be believed, iPhone photography could be about to zoom even further ahead – quite literally.
There are already three iPhones in our best camera phones list, but they could pale in comparison to what Apple apparently has up its sleeve. It's been rumoured for a while that Apple is planning to add a periscope lens to future iPhones (which could mean zoom capabilities of up to 50x), and a new leak suggests the company is looking to Samsung to provide the tech.
As spotted by The Next Web (opens in new tab), a report by Digitimes (opens in new tab) suggests Apple has abandoned plans to build its own periscope lens, and has instead begun discussions with several South Korean companies about creating the tech, including Samsung. And with Samsung owning a ton of key patents, it's quite possible that Apple's periscope lens could end up coming from one of its arch rivals.
Periscope lenses, as the name suggests, use mirrors to achieve a much higher optical zoom in a tiny package. The tech has already made its way into a few smartphones – Huawei's P40 Pro Plus (below) uses a periscope lens to achieve an incredible 10x optical zoom without loss of quality and, when combined with digital zoom, can even hit 50x.
While Apple might have called the iPhone 12 Pro Max "the photographer's iPhone," it could be blown away by its successor if a periscope lens makes its way to the iPhone 13. For creatives who prefer the Apple ecosystem, the company's move towards periscope lenses is great news – the Huawei Mate 40 Pro might be our best camera phone right now, but it seems Apple is snapping at its heels.
Could we be edging closer to a world where your smartphone is the only camera you'll ever need? We wouldn't say any of our best cameras have anything to worry about just yet, but if you want the latest and greatest iPhone camera tech available now, check out the best iPhone 12 deals below.