Initial rumors suggested that the Samsung Galaxy S20 will have telephoto cameras capable of 10x optical zoom. The most recent evidence, however, indicates that this is not the case – a report out of Korea states that Samsung has taken delivery of prisms for 5x optical zoom.
They were built by fellow Korean company Optron-Tec, which previously supplied the prisms for the Oppo Reno 10x zoom (which despite its name is commonly considered to have 5x optical zoom).
Leakster Ice Universe recently tweeted that the Galaxy S20 Ultra will have 5x optical zoom and will offer a pixel cropping mode to reach 10x zoom. That’s a viable option as the S20 trio will use 48MP and 64MP sensors for their zoom cameras, meaning they will end up with 12MP and 16MP shots post crop (for comparison, the Reno had a 13MP sensor). Samsung is rumored to be working on a “Space Zoom” feature that will reach 100x magnification digitally.
Anyway, the Korean report comes by way of The Elec. According to the publication, Optron-Tec makes the prisms, Actro integrates them into 5x zoom modules and Samsung Electro-Mechanics finishes the complete camera module, before sending them off to Samsung Electronics.
Optron-Tec is reportedly interested in supplying Huawei and Vivo with prisms too. As 5x zoom cameras become more popular in future premium phones, the manufacturer predicts a growth in demand and revenue.
However, Optrontec only creates the components and it is Samsung Electro-Mechanics that builds the finished product, so the company may find it much easier to talk Vivo (and sibling companies like Oppo) into buying its products than Huawei, a Samsung rival with its own supply chain.