The Galaxy S11 is still a few months away, and the latest rumors are hinting Samsung’s next major flagship will pack some major camera improvements — but we didn’t expect anything like this. If a leaked codename is an indicator of planned improvements, the Galaxy S11 may well pack a periscope 5x zoom lens as well as a 108-megapixel main lens.
According to a report from GalaxyClub, the Galaxy S11 is being developed with the codename “Hubble” — a fairly obvious reference to the Hubble Space Telescope — and could point to the Samsung S11 coming with a telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom. This level of zoom would be achievable with a periscope-style lens, where the long apparatus required lays parallel to the lines of the phone, using a mirror to bend light by 90 degrees. This could be a considerable upgrade over the Galaxy S10‘s existing 2x telephoto zoom.
This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen this technology, though it would be a first for Samsung. We’ve previously seen periscope zoom lenses on the Huawei P30 Pro, and on the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, which came with a 10x optical zoom. Samsung has apparently been working on this technology in its own camera lenses for some time now, with Sammobile reporting it was ready for deployment six months ago.
But you may want to avoid betting the farm on a super-zoom lens just yet. After all, the “Hubble” codename may not refer to an upgraded zoom lens at all, and could instead be a reference to the expected 108-megapixel main lens. Alternatively, it could also hint at an upgraded version of HDR image layering, as the Hubble Space Telescope is also well known for its composite images. Or perhaps the Galaxy S11 is built to withstand the rigors of a life in orbit. It would certainly fit with Samsung’s ill-fated Space Selfie stunt.
One thing is absolutely for certain — with the Samsung Galaxy S11 unlikely to be released until early 2020, we’ve got plenty of time for more leaks to arrive, and if a periscope telephoto zoom lens is truly on the way, then we’re sure to hear about it again soon. We’ll keep you updated if we hear any more.