The official launch of the LG V40 has come and gone. The phone is definitely a step up over last year’s LG V30, but it’s main specs are pretty much in line with all other 2018 flagship smartphones – save for its 5-camera setup. Since the introduction of the HTC One M8 in 2014, smartphone manufacturers have been adding more and more cameras to their devices in an effort to offer a better-rounded photography experience. When HTC first did it, the secondary sensor on the back of the phone was a basic 2MP sensor which was simply used to capture depth information. Since then, other manufacturers have used a second sensor on the back of the phone to capture more light (that’s the monochrome sensor Huawei has been using), add 2X optical zoom (the setup that Apple has popularized) or give users a wider field of view (the ultra-wide angle lens setup LG has been using for the past two years).
This year, a few manufacturers have taken things to the next level by cramming in three camera sensors on the back of the hone or adding a secondary selfie camera. But the crown goes to the LG V40 which comes with three camera sensors on the back and two on the front. This may sound a bit gimmicky or like overkill for a smartphone, but having five cameras on the LG V40 gives the user the flexibility that point and shoot cameras have offered for years.
The three sensors on the back of the LG V40 offer unique focal lengths. The main 12MP sensor is paired with a 27mm lens which is pretty much the standard for smartphones. The second 12MP sensor on the back of the phone has a 52mm lens which provides 2x optical zoom and the third sensor has a resolution of 16MP and 16mm wide-angle lens. With the three sensors and different focal length lenses, the LG V40 effectively provides a 16-52mm zoom lens.
This gives the phone the flexibility to capture amazing wide-angle shots which are perfect for landscapes or fit tight spaces. The 2X zoom lens gives you the ability to get closer to your subject without having to physically move in closer and the standard lens is there to capture everything in between.
LG could have stopped there and called it a day, but it decided to give the V40 two sensors up front to improve the selfie experience as well. In addition to the standard 8MP sensor which is paired with a 26mm lens, LG added a second 5MP sensor which uses a 21mm lens. This lens setup isn’t as wide as the 18.6mm wide-angle lens HTC used for a few years on its front-facing cameras, but it still allows you to squeeze in an extra friend or two into your selfie or capture more of the background in the shot without having to rely on a selfie stick.
As you might expect, having 5 camera sensor built into a smartphone means there’s less room for other components. In the case of the LG V40, the internal battery was limited to 3,300mAh to make room for the extra sensors. While there are few people who would be willing to sacrifice battery life for extra camera sensors, there’s little doubt that most people would appreciate the added flexibility offered by the LG V40’s 5-camera setup.
We doubt that the LG V40 will be a huge success, but we can guarantee that we’ll see a lot more smartphone with 5 or more cameras in 2018.