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Leak sheds light on what might be 2019’s most exciting new Android phone

Published Jan 3rd, 2019 9:05AM EST
Mate 30 Pro vs. Galaxy S10
Image: Huawei

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The world’s first smartphone to feature a penta-lens camera module on the back is launching soon, according to a series of leaks. But the first-gen Nokia 9 PureView won’t be a real 2019 flagship Android device, as it’ll offer buyers a design reminiscent of 2017 phones and a processor from last year. An improved version is tipped to arrive in the second half of the year. That said, Nokia 9 phones will be available for purchase in multiple markets including the US, and it looks like it won’t be the only five-cam phone American smartphone shoppers will miss out on. A different Android flagship may feature a five-lens camera when it launches in late 2019 and just like the Nokia 9, it will be unavailable in US stores.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro, which was launched back in October, is arguably one of the most exciting Android phones of 2018. Yes, its design copies both the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9, but the phone does offer a bunch of exciting features that aren’t available on any other 2018 Android phones. That said, the Mate 20 Pro isn’t available from US carriers, and that’s because the government doesn’t trust China’s biggest tech company. If you’re in the US and you want one, Amazon is your only option.

Image source: Huawei

Its successor, the Mate 30 Pro, should be launched in October 2019 so we’ve got plenty of waiting before that model hits international markets. But Huawei already has a patent for a protective case that was found by Dutch blog MobielKopen, and it signals the company’s intention to increase the size of the camera module.

The Mate 20 Pro has a square camera setup featuring three lenses and a flash. The patent for the Mate 30 series shows a camera cutout that’s even wider. The only plausible explanation is that Huawei will pack five lenses on the back of the phone instead of three — here’s a comparison between the Mate 20 Pro protective case and the proposed Mate 30 Pro case design:

Image source: MobielKopen

As always, the technology described in patent documentation is only theoretical and there’s no guarantee that Huawei will move to five-lens cameras this year. That said, Huawei was the first to launch a triple-lens camera, and it’ll probably want to keep up with the likes of Samsung, LG, and Nokia, companies that already have multi-lens cameras on phones or plan to launch new models. The Galaxy S10, for example, should come in different varieties featuring dual and triple cameras, while a 5G version of the phone may have as many as four lenses on the back.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.