What will smartphone cameras be like in 2021? iPhone 13 and Huawei P50 set a new trend

What will smartphone cameras be like in 2021? iPhone 13 and Huawei P50 set a new trend

In 2021, there are frankly few smartphones on the market – the world is experiencing a shortage of processors, Samsung has suspended the release of Galaxy Note, Huawei and Honor are slowly leaving all countries except China, and realme and OPPO are not yet ready to replace them.

There are only two major premieres left – the iPhone 13 series (four smartphones) and the Huawei P50 (three devices). Moreover, iPhones will still be considered from the point of view of a potential purchase, while Chinese novelties are interesting only as a breakthrough in mobile photography.

The lineup of the iPhone 13 and Huawei P50 allow us to determine the trend that will develop in the smartphone market at least in the coming year. Huawei in 2018 led the entire market, becoming the flagship in the development of mobile photography, and Apple smartphones have always been a barometer of public opinion – what characteristics and capabilities they received are relevant, in principle, among mobile devices.

Let’s see what the cameras of these smartphones will be.

What cameras will the iPhone 13 have?


In early July, the Chinese social network Weibo posted photos of the iPhone 13 Pro case worn on the iPhone 12 Pro. In general, the dimensions of these devices completely coincide or differ completely insignificantly – the case for the next generation fits perfectly on the current one. But one point is clearly striking.

The camera cutout for the iPhone 13 Pro is much larger than the camera found in the iPhone 12 Pro. This is indicated by the previously published insider about the parameters of the iPhone 13 series – in short: the bodies will be a couple of millimeters larger, but the camera blocks will be larger and will bulge more strongly. Everything goes to the fact that Apple will install a camera with larger lenses in new smartphones.

New to iPhone 13 – Legacy 12 Pro Max

What will smartphone cameras be like in 2021? iPhone 13 and Huawei P50 set a new trend

In 2020, Apple released four smartphones – the iPhone 12 mini, 12, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max. This generation of Pros had different camera parameters, unlike the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max with the same components. This is an engineering cost – the 12 Pro Max received the most advanced camera, because its dimensions allowed for an enlarged module.

The 12 Pro Max’s primary sensor is 47% larger than the others. This makes the sensor more sensitive and allows it to transmit more light at the same sensitivity value. This feature allows you to get better quality photos in low light.

In 2021, all four new Apple smartphones will receive two of the best camera features of the 12 Pro Max: a larger main sensor and optical image stabilization with sensor shift (from the current generation, only the largest model has this). There is no information on the network how the result will improve, but logically, night photography should become even better.

Huawei went even further: the P50 Pro’s camera will be huge

What will smartphone cameras be like in 2021? iPhone 13 and Huawei P50 set a new trend

Huawei may unveil the P50 series (P50, P50 Pro and P50 Pro +) as early as July this year (rumored to be the 29th). The company’s smartphones are losing their relevance without Google services, but they can make some noise due to unique technologies, as they have been doing for the past three years.

A feature of the devices, like the previous flagships of the company, will be a camera. According to rumors, they will receive an enlarged main and ultra-wide-angle modules, which is noticeable in the published render. The sensor of the main camera will presumably be a Sony IMX800 with a diagonal of one Vidicon inch (2/3 of the usual inch, that is, 16.93 mm) inch, this is the largest size among current smartphones. Cameras of this size are commensurate with the matrices of compact cameras or even “DSLRs”.

A large sensor allows you to increase the quality of images. For example, larger pixels will collect more light, which will allow for less sensitivity (ISO) increases, and as a result there will be less noise in the picture.

Where will Apple and Huawei lead the smartphone industry?

What will smartphone cameras be like in 2021? iPhone 13 and Huawei P50 set a new trend

At least in the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022, we will see a lot of smartphones with bulging camera blocks and huge sensors. Sony is a major manufacturer of smartphone cameras, so demand for the IMX800 is likely to increase.

To become a well-known brand or to remain popular, you need to produce camera phones. Apple and Huawei have shown in which direction to go after adding night mode and periscope zoom. This gives room for further improvement of the camera – after a major hardware update, developers can add software capabilities to cameras, which also greatly affect the result.

Along with this, judging by the insiders, Apple and Huawei will continue to move in different directions. The P50 will focus on photography and image quality, while the iPhone will continue to improve its video capabilities. Last year, all smartphones received support for the Dolby Vision format; in 2021, more effective optical stabilization with a matrix shift will become available on all new smartphones, and not only on the most expensive model. All in all, smartphones will continue to focus on the camera in the coming years.

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