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Here are some of the camera features you'll probably find on 2018 flagships

Qualcomm has revealed some of the new photography and VR/AR tech that will be found in its next flagship Snapdragon processor.

Published onAugust 15, 2017

The Qualcomm Snapdragon logo.

Advances in the Android ecosystem owe a lot to Qualcomm. As one of the major producers of smartphone chipsets — or platforms, as it now calls to them — Qualcomm is often responsible for the progress made in Android flagship smartphones each year.

For example, Qualcomm introduced its Clear Sight dual camera technology last September, prompting a number of Android manufacturers to adopt a dual camera setup on their flagship phones this year (with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 potentially being next on the list).

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While it does have its share of competitors who offer similar products, Qualcomm’s chipsets are part of the reason smartphones in 2017 look and operate like they do. Today, Qualcomm has announced some of the new features you’ll find in its next major mobile chipset, giving us a glimpse at what’s to come from smartphones and VR products in 2018.

In a press release, Qualcomm has revealed its new image signal processors (ISPs) and camera modules (part of its second generation Spectra technologies), the developments in which are intended to help increase image quality, allow for further “computer vision use cases” and support quick production schedules for Android OEMs.

The camera modules arrive as an expansion to the Qualcomm Spectra Module Program introduced last year (responsible for the aforementioned Clear Sight tech). Qualcomm says it is now broadening this to include camera modules that can support “superior biometric authentication,” like facial recognition, and “high-resolution depth sensing” which has implications for VR/AR uses. Take a look at what the new sensing tech can do in Qualcomm’s recent video below.

The Spectra ISPs, meanwhile, are expected to provide a number of photography improvements including “multi-frame noise reduction,” which would lead to less grainy photographs, inline electronic image stabilization (EIS), which could increase overall video quality, and more.

Qualcomm mentions a handful of other upgrades targeted at virtual and augmented reality applications in the press release, and it looks like these won’t only apply to Android phones but standalone VR headsets too.

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Qualcomm says that both the Spectra ISPs and Spectra camera modules are “expected” to be included in the next major Snapdragon chip — probably the Snapdragon 845 — meaning they would be likely here in time for many of the 2018 Android flagships.

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