When we talk about dual-screen phones, though, we will be talking about phones that allow you to use both screens simultaneously. We have come to realize that such phones are so much better at dealing with hardcore productivity needs and are so much better when it comes to multitasking than bigger displays or bigger foldable displays.
Starting in the mid-2010s, some advanced camera phones feature optical image stabilisation (OIS), larger sensors, bright lenses, 4K video and even optical zoom, for which a few use a physical zoom lens. Multiple lenses and multi-shot night modes are also familiar. Since the late 2010s, high-end smartphones typically have multiple lenses with different functions, to make more use of a device's limited physical space. Common lens functions include an ultrawide sensor, a telephoto sensor, a macro sensor, and a depth sensor. Some phone cameras have a label that indicates the lens manufacturer, megapixel count, or features such as autofocus or zoom ability for emphasis, including the Samsung Omnia II (2009), Samsung Galaxy S II (2011), Sony Xperia Z1 (2013) and some successors, Nokia Lumia 1020 (2013), and the Samsung Galaxy S20 (2020).
The usual fixed-focus lenses and smaller sensors limit performance in poor lighting. Lacking a physical shutter, some have a long shutter lag. Photoflash by the typical internal LED source illuminates less intensely over a much longer exposure time than a flash strobe, and none has a hot shoe for attaching an external flash. Optical zoom and tripod screws are rare and some also lack a USB connection or a removable memory card. Most have Bluetooth and WiFi, and can make geotagged photographs. Some of the more expensive camera phones have only a few of these technical disadvantages, but with bigger image sensors (a few are up to 1\", such as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1), their capabilities approach those of low-end point-and-shoot cameras. The few hybrid camera phones such as Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom and K Zoom were equipped with real optical zoom lenses.
Most camera phones have a digital zoom feature, which may allow zooming without quality loss if a lower resolution than the highest image sensor resolution is selected, as it makes use of image sensors' spare resolution. For example, at twice digital zoom, only a quarter of the image sensor resolution is available. A few have optical zoom, and several have a few cameras with different field of view, combined with digital zoom as a hybrid zoom feature. For example, the Huawei P30 Pro uses a \"periscope\" 5x telephoto camera with up to 10x digital zoom, resulting in 50x hybrid zoom. An external camera can be added, coupled wirelessly to the phone by Wi-Fi. They are compatible with most smartphones. Windows Phones can be configured to operate as a camera even if the phone is asleep.
While early phones had Internet connectivity, working web browsers and email-programs, the phone menu offered no way of including a photo in an email or uploading it to a web site. Connecting cables or removable media that would enable the local transfer of pictures were also usually missing. Modern smartphones have almost unlimited connectivity and transfer options with photograph attachment features.
During 2003 (as camera phones were gaining popularity), in Europe some phones without cameras had support for MMS and external cameras that could be connected with a small cable or directly to the data port at the base of the phone. The external cameras were comparable in quality to those fitted on regular camera phones at the time, typically offering VGA resolution.
The ability to take photographs and film from both front and rear cameras simultaneously was first implemented in 2013 on the Samsung Galaxy S4, where the two video tracks are stored picture-in-picture. An implementation with separate video tracks within a file or separate video files is not known yet.
There were several early videophones and cameras that included communication capability. Some devices experimented with integration of the device to communicate wirelessly with the Internet, which would allow instant media sharing with anyone anywhere. The DELTIS VC-1100 by Japanese company Olympus was the world's first digital camera with cellular phone transmission capability, revealed in the early 1990s and released in 1994. In 1995, Apple experimented with the Apple Videophone/PDA. There was also a digital camera with cellular phone designed by Shosaku Kawashima of Canon in Japan in May 1997. In Japan, two competing projects were run by Sharp and Kyocera in 1997. Both had cell phones with integrated cameras. However, the Kyocera system was designed as a peer-to-peer video-phone as opposed to the Sharp project which was initially focused on sharing instant pictures. That was made possible when the Sharp devices was coupled to the Sha-mail infrastructure designed in collaboration with American technologist Kahn. The Kyocera team was led by Kazumi Saburi. In 1995, work by James Greenwold of Bureau Of Technical Services, in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, was developing a pocket video camera for surveillance purposes. By 1999, the Tardis recorder was in prototype and being used by the government. Bureau Of Technical Services advanced further by the patent No. 6,845,215,B1 on \"Body-Carryable, digital Storage medium, Audio/Video recording Assembly\".
A camera phone was patented by Kari-Pekka Wilska, Reijo Paajanen, Mikko Terho and Jari Hämäläinen, four employees at Nokia, in 1994. Their patent application was filed with the Finnish Patent and Registration Office on May 19, 1994, followed by several filings around the world making it a global family of patent applications. The patent application specifically described the combination as either a separate digital camera connected to a cell phone or as an integrated system with both sub-systems combined in a single unit. Their patent application design included all of the basic functions camera phones implemented for many years: the capture, storage, and display of digital images and the means to transmit the images over the radio frequency channel. On August 12, 1998, the United Kingdom granted patent GB 2289555B and on July 30, 2002, the USPTO granted US Patent 6427078B1 based on the original Finnish Patent and Registration Office application to Wilska, Paajanen, Terho and Hämäläinen.
The first commercial camera phone was the Kyocera Visual Phone VP-210, released in Japan in May 1999. It was called a \"mobile videophone\" at the time, and had a 110,000-pixel front-facing camera. It stored up to 20 JPEG digital images, which could be sent over e-mail, or the phone could send up to two images per second over Japan's Personal Handy-phone System (PHS) cellular network. The Samsung SCH-V200, released in South Korea in June 2000, was also one of the first phones with a built-in camera. It had a TFT liquid-crystal display (LCD) and stored up to 20 digital photos at 350,000-pixel resolution. However, it could not send the resulting image over the telephone function, but required a computer connection to access photos. The first mass-market camera phone was the J-SH04, a Sharp J-Phone model sold in Japan in November 2000. It could instantly transmit pictures via cell phone telecommunication.
Cameras on cell phones proved popular right from the start, as indicated by the J-Phone in Japan having had more than half of its subscribers using cell phone cameras in two years. The world soon followed. In 2003, more camera phones were sold worldwide than stand-alone digital cameras largely due to growth in Japan and Korea. In 2005, Nokia became the world's most sold digital camera brand. In 2006, half of the world's mobile phones had a built-in camera. In 2006, Thuraya released the first satellite phone with an integrated camera. The Thuraya SG-2520 was manufactured by Korean company APSI and ran Windows CE. In 2008, Nokia sold more camera phones than Kodak sold film-based simple cameras, thus becoming the biggest manufacturer of any kind of camera. In 2010, the worldwide number of camera phones totaled more than a billion. Since 2010, most mobile phones, even the cheapest ones, are being sold with a camera. High-end camera phones usually had a relatively good lens and high resolution.
Higher resolution camera phones started to appear in the 2010s. 12-megapixel camera phones have been produced by at least two companies. To highlight the capabilities of the Nokia N8 (Big CMOS Sensor) camera, Nokia created a short film, The Commuter, in October 2010. The seven-minute film was shot entirely on the phone's 720p camera. A 14-megapixel smartphone with 3 optical zoom was announced in late 2010. In 2011, the first phones with dual rear cameras were released to the market but failed to gain traction. Originally, dual rear cameras were implemented as a way to capture 3D content, which was something that electronics manufacturers were pushing back then. Several years later, the release of the iPhone 7 would popularize this concept, but instead using the second lens as a wide angle lens. In 2012, Nokia announced Nokia 808 PureView. It features a 41-megapixel 1/1.2-inch sensor and a high-resolution f/2.4 Zeiss all-aspherical one-group lens. It also features Nokia's PureView Pro technology, a pixel oversampling technique that reduces an image taken at full resolution into a lower resolution picture, thus achieving higher definition and light sensitivity, and enables lossless zoom. In mid-2013, Nokia announced the Nokia Lumia 1020. In 2014, the HTC One M8 introduced the concept of having a camera as a depth sensor. In late 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone 7 Plus, one of the phones to popularize a dual camera setup. The iPhone 7 Plus included a main 12 MP camera along with a 12 MP telephoto camera which allowed for 2x optical zoom and Portrait Mode for the first time in a smartphone. In early 2018 Huawei released a new flagship phone, the Huawei P20 Pro, with the first triple camera lens setup. Making up its three sensors (co-engineered with Leica) are a 40 megapixel RGB lens, a 20 megapixel monochrome lens, and an 8 megapixel telephoto lens. Some features on the Huawei P20 Pro include 3x optical zoom, and 960 fps slow motion. In late 2018, Samsung released a new mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy A9 (2018) with the world's first quad camera setup. The quadruple camera setup features a primary 24MP f/1.7 sensor for normal photography, an ultra-wide 8MP f/2.4 sensor with a 120 degrees viewing angle, a telephoto 10MP f/2.4 with 2x optical zoom and a 5MP depth sensor for effects such as b`okeh. Nokia 9 PureView was released in 2019 featuring penta-lens camera system. 153554b96e