When it comes to phones, ZTE has always been a name associated with experimentation.
The Chinese company has often brought something new and interesting to the table, even if its devices are not particularly high-spec. The ZTE Axon 20, for example, marked the first phone to feature an under-display selfie camera, while the Nubia Z20 had a novel screen on the rear of the device as well as on the front.
Now, it looks like ZTE is taking its philosophy for innovation to the world of mobile photography by teasing an upcoming Android phone set to have three 64MP cameras.
The news comes after ZTE mobile president Ni Fei posted on Weibo, a Chinese social media site, that a future Axon flagship device will offer “3 x 64 million, high-energy full focal length” lenses, suggesting a main, ultra-wide and telephoto camera combination, with each lens set to boast 64MP resolutions.
This isn’t the first time we’ve come across multiple high-resolution cameras on a phone – the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, OnePlus 8 Pro and Oppo Find X3 Pro all packed two top-spec snappers alongside lower resolution telephoto lenses – but an Axon device boasting three cameras of equally high resolutions would mark a first for the market.
Bigger isn’t always better
While ZTE’s claims are impressive, it remains to be seen whether a device boasting three 64MP sensors would definitively outperform devices with a smaller number of much higher resolution cameras.
Some devices have been known to deliver mediocre image quality despite having main sensors in a similar resolution ballpark to those expected of the upcoming ZTE device. The Realme 7, for example, boasts a seemingly-impressive 48MP main sensor that doesn’t deliver the same quality as its pricier competitors. It’s designed to be a cheaper phone, so this is expected, but it nonetheless proves that high megapixel counts don’t always equal great camera performance.
That being said, we’ve seen devices like the Oppo Find X3 Pro benefit from two identical main and ultra-wide sensors which allow for more consistent colors and image detail – so a ZTE Axon flagship packing three identical sensors could offer exciting results.
Of course, we don’t yet know how much the upcoming device will cost – it hasn’t even got an official name yet – but ZTE phones have been known to cater to the cheaper end of the market. Whether that means its novel camera setup can compete with the likes of the Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro remains to be seen.