Tue. Oct 26th, 2021
Comment: The iPhone’s front-facing camera is due for a major update


With every new iPhone, customers are always expecting camera improvements. While Apple has focused a lot on Night Mode, then Dolby Vision, and now Cinematic Mode, there’s one thing the company hasn’t changed at all: the iPhone’s front-facing camera.

If you go back all the way to the 2019 iPhone 11, you’ll see that it has a TrueDepth camera with 12MP and ƒ/2.2 aperture. It features 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps, and Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps.

Then, if you check the iPhone 12 specs page, you’ll see exactly the same specs: a 12MP camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture. What Apple started to change was: it added lens correction, Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and Smart HDR 3. So, the camera had the same sensors but with improvements on the software side, and, of course, with a new chip.

Finally, with the iPhone 13, Apple reduced the notch’s size, added Smart HDR 4, and new features: Cinematic Mode and Photographic Style. But it still had the same specs: a 12MP camera with ƒ/2.2 aperture. Is it still enough?

If you compare the reviews of the iPhone 13, you’ll see that the phone’s front-facing camera is great and a bit better than last year’s model. The iPhone 13 also has one of the best front-facing cameras in the market, so maybe yes, it might be enough.

But, as you read above, all of the changes are about software upgrades and new processors rather than physical changes to the lenses.

The weird thing is: Apple always put a lot of effort into the main sensors but is much slower than adopting changes to the front camera. After the jump from the 7MP camera sensor on the iPhone XS to the 12MP sensor on the iPhone 11, Apple kept it that way.

While the company is obsessed with the ability to improve light absorption with the main camera sensors, it hasn’t done the same with the front-facing camera. And why? By the time the company introduces the iPhone 14, it will be three years since the last big update for the front-facing camera.

In general, people praise the iPhone’s lenses over the Android competitors and since people are always taking selfies, shouldn’t this be a priority to Apple?

Of course, new iPhone 13 owners will be happy even if their last phone was the iPhone 12, as the front-facing camera will look a bit better. But in the long run, it’s about time Apple gives the front-facing camera more capabilities, which means, at least a better aperture.

Apple could be saving improvements for the iPhone 14 line

As you probably heard, rumors regarding the iPhone 14 show that it will have a redesign with a hole-punch display. With that, the only interference in the screen would be the camera sensor. This could also be the perfect opportunity for Apple to finally upgrade hardware-wise its front-facing camera lens.

For example, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the iPhone 14 will include dramatic improvements to the front-facing camera. The biggest change will be upgrades to the auto-focus features. Unfortunately, more details here are unclear.

Taking advantage of a new design and considering what Kuo said, Apple could add the new iPad’s Ultra-Wide angle lens on the front-facing camera on the iPhone as well. This would benefit users in a FaceTime call and also bring new options for selfie shots.

What do you think of Apple’s front-facing camera on the iPhone? What do you think could change? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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