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LG’s Phone With 16 Lenses Could Be the Future of Smartphone Photography

Dave LeClair 26-11-2018

Remember the first time you got a cell phone with a camera? The idea of having a digital camera in your pocket at all times was incredibly exciting. Phone cameras have come a long way since then, with some devices featuring lenses that rival dedicated cameras.


LG has just received a new patent that takes the idea of smartphone photography to an insane new level. The patent is for a smartphone that features a staggering 16 camera lenses. Right now, it’s common to see smartphones with multiple lenses—the LG V40 ThinQ has five—but we’ve definitely never seen one with this many.

The news was first reported by LetsGoDigital (from the USPTO).

Why 16 Lenses on a Phone?

Why on Earth would anyone want a camera with 16 lenses? Basically, it opens up a slew of new options for photos and videos that can’t be accomplished with just one or two lenses. For example, you’d be able to create 3D videos, move a subject to a different angle in a photo, or even remove parts of a photo after you’ve taken it.

LG's Phone With 16 Lenses Could Be the Future of Smartphone Photography LG16Camera

LG showed an example where you could select one photo from a series, or even create a single shot from multiple angles, which wouldn’t be possible without a full suite of lenses.


It only gets crazier from there, though. LG demonstrated using AI to scan the face in a photo, recognize them, and replace their head with a more flattering shot.

LG's Phone With 16 Lenses Could Be the Future of Smartphone Photography LG16Camera2

But what if you want to use your insane 16-lens camera to take a selfie? According to the patent, LG will attach a mirror to the back of the phone, which is the ultimate low-tech way to take a selfie. Interesting that it’s combined with such a future-tech camera.

When Can You Buy One?

As this device is just in the patents stage, there’s no guarantee that LG will ever even release a phone with all these lenses attached. Essentially, the patent just means that it has the technology available to make the phone a reality and that no other company can copy this idea without paying LG. It doesn’t mean that the company is planning to release the device anytime in the near future.

So, to put it simply, you can’t purchase one of these yet, but it’s most definitely fun to imagine all the cool things you could do with a 16-lens smartphone.

While you wait, make sure to check out our list of the best smartphones at IFA 2018 Smartphones at IFA 2018: What's New and What's Hot? Here's everything you need to know about smartphones at IFA 2018. Read More for a look at what’s coming soon..

Image Credit: Ryhor/DepositPhotos

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  1. Fik of the borg
    November 27, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    This reminds me of the CPU clock frequency race of the 90s and the camera megapixels race of the 00s. Will Samsung follow with a 24 camera celphone?