LG Innotek brings true optical zoom to smartphones

LG Innotek porta un vero zoom ottico su smartphone thumbnail

LG Innotek will present to the CES 2023 of Las Vegas a new smartphone camera module: il its first true optical zoom on a phone. The optics within the module will move to continuously cover the range da 4x a 9x. And they’re coming to the next generation of Android smartphones.

LG Innotek presents its first optical zoom for smartphones at CES 2023

LG has stopped producing smartphones, but with its LG Innotek brand, it continues to supply photographic sensors for many phone manufacturers. And thanks to the partnership with Qualcomm and the support of its new optical zoom chip Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, it will soon bring an absolute novelty to top-of-the-line Android smartphones.

Today, many devices use a digital zoom to compensate for the focal length limitations of the optics used in the camera. But LG Innotek’s new smartphone camera module uses mobile optics, just like those of a DSLR camera.

The Korean brand uses a “folded optics” design, a periscope lens, which saves space on smartphones. While covering the zoom range from 4x to 9x.

More and more professional photographs

Prior to this announcement of LG Innotek at CES 2023, the only manufacturer using true optical zoom in smartphones it was Sony with its Xperia 1 IV (although it seems that Oppo is working on a new top of the range with this feature). The Sony module covers 3.5x to 5.2x, equivalent to a range of 85-125mm. Definitely by less than the 100-200mm of the sensor that LG Innotek will announce.

The new design arriving in Las Vegas could therefore give a really interesting tool to those who use the smartphone for professional shots. Also because it includes a solid optical stabilization, necessary for such powerful zooms. And it will be extremely precise: LG Innotek explains that it will be able to move with 1μm increments.

For smartphone manufacturers, the advantage will not only be in the fluidity of the continuous zoom, but also in the space saved: they won’t have to use two excellent 4x and 9x to zoombut they will be able to move like on a real camera.

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These benefits will help LG Innotek “solidify the position Global No. 1 in the photographic module market for smartphones,” as the company itself explains. Indeed it seems that if this model will arrive on different Android smartphones, LG has also found an agreement to include a more “classic” telephoto sensor on the next iPhone 15 Pro.

In short, LG Innotek may not have arrived at this technological breakthrough sooner, but it seems well positioned to bring continuous zoom to several flagships in the next two years.