Camera lenses Huawei will be freeform. Bug or feature?

I will not once again go into controversy over the fact that Huawei cameras, the quality of which is greatly exaggerated. No one will deny that this brand's cameras are bringing some interesting innovations to the market. This time they are preparing unusual lenses that should put a couple more cents in the piggy bank of modern cameras. If the decision is successful, many will do so, but someone should be the first. Perhaps, this autumn will be the Chinese company. We haven't had technological revolutions for a long time, but why not bang such an evolution that will solve many problems of the past?

Camera lenses Huawei will be freeform.  Bug or feature?

Cameras from this brand have always been cool.

Camera Huawei Mate 40

Traditionally, the new product of the family Huawei, which will be called Mate 40, will be released in the second half of this year. This was the case in previous years and, most likely, it will be in subsequent years. But now we can talk about what kind of camera he will have. Perhaps one of the most famous analysts in the modern world of smartphones will help us with this. It is he who gives very correct predictions.

The name of this analyst is Ming-Chi Kuo, and he is listed on the staff of TF International Securities. According to him, the Huawei Mate 40 series will be equipped with a 'free-form lens' to reduce wide-angle distortion. What is it?

What is a freeform lens

The optics of the camera are very complicated without additional bells and whistles. This is not just glass pulled out of the window frame of an old five-story building. The lens should have a special shape, multi-component sputtering and made of very high quality and maximum transparent glass. If you do not go into the complex details, which I talked about in a separate article, lenses distinguish the flagship camera from the budget and the expensive camera lens from the cheap one. The difference may be insignificant by eye, but it is there and it is enough to make some pictures good and others bad.

What is a free-form lens? First, the official language.

“Free-form optical refractive surfaces are defined by complex mathematical equations that provide a radical and unique ability to refract light,” says the optical firm DynaOptics.

“Optical technologies requiring high resolution, wide field of view, low aberration, segmented field of view and other optical parameters are excellently achieved with FreeForm optical technology,” says the DynaOptics website.

Now I will explain in simple terms. The camera matrix is ​​rectangular and the objective lenses are round. As a result, distortion or darkening in the corners is inevitable. They even have their own names, but now they will only complicate things for us. Also, when shooting with an ultra-wide angle (when more objects fit into the frame), additional distortions appear at the corners of the frame (sometimes called “fisheye”). They are usually corrected by electronics, but not completely. To do this, when creating a camera, it is investigated how much of the frame is distorted and corrections are made. Since the optics always distort the image in the same way, the camera does it on the fly according to a programmed pattern. If I may say so, it imposes anti-distortion.

Camera lenses Huawei will be freeform.  Bug or feature?

Schematically everything will look like this.

As follows from the above definitions, in the new Huawei distortions will be corrected at the optical level. The lenses will not be quite the usual shape. So the image will be processed less, and the image will fall on the matrix with the correct proportions. As a result, the quality will be higher.

Specifications Huawei Mate 40

The camera is good and the use of such technology really pulls for a breakthrough, but the hardware in the smartphone is also important. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the Mate 40 series will feature a new 5nm Kirin processor. Usually smartphones of this particular series are the first to receive a new generation of processor. The analyst believes the new chip will be codenamed 'Baltimore' and will provide significant performance improvements through the use of Cortex-A77 or even Cortex-A78 processor cores.

Moving to a new architecture will provide a 50% performance gain. The Kirin 990 now uses the Cortex-A76 cores that were previously introduced in the Kirin 980 in 2018. Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 865 and MediaTek Dimensity 1000 are built on the latest Cortex-A77 architecture.

It goes without saying that the Huawei Mate 40 series will not have Google Mobile Services if the current US sanctions situation continues. The question is whether even such good technical characteristics will be enough to ensure a decent level of sales. Time will tell. Suddenly, the company comes up with something else. This year, they have already placed all Yandex applications in their AppGallery, came up with a payment card and found a way to support MasterCard cards.

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