Google and Apple usher in an era of ugly square phone cameras

Google & # 39; s official unveiling of the Pixel 4 design confirmed the leaks: just like Apple & # 39; s rumors iPhone 11, the Pixel 4 will have a huge, square camera module on the back. With both Apple and Google now on board, it seems that gigantic, post-stamp-sized camera bumps are officially the newest design roughness that smartphone owners will have to undergo.


Statue: Slashleaks

The iPhone 11 (or whatever Apple calls it) and Pixel 4 did not invent the gigantic camera bulge. Nokia in particular was once known for being exhausted Nokia N8 and PureView models, promising that the ugly hardware would result in much better photos. But now it seems that, after years of turning to smaller devices, the wheel has been turned back to sacrifice aesthetics when changing image quality.

The problem is not only that Apple and Google have decided that it is in fact hip to be square: it is the domino effect that their designs have on the rest of the industry. The square camera does not look really good, but it is now linked to the Apple and Google branding. That means that we will almost certainly see other devices popping up in the future. After all, if you're a smaller phone company, it's almost a dream to be mistaken for an iPhone, and these striking camera blocks are a quick way to get you into the "almost the same, but cheaper" category.

Consider the large notch on the iPhone X that was quickly copied by what feels like almost every smartphone company? Or when most flagship telephones have killed the headphone jack? We are only now starting to see telephones that have shaken the effects of those changes.


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

It is not entirely the fault of Apple and Google: part of it is simple engineering. With manufacturers constantly trying to decorate each other with better cameras & multi-lens arrays and motion sensors, there is only so much room in the phone to really place things. When you try to place three cameras (such as the iPhone 11 reportedly), four cameras (such as Samsung & # 39; s Galaxy S10 5G) or even five (such as the Nokia 9 PureView), you should accept that a significant portion of the back of the phone is picked up by those sensors. But there are still ways to do this without making the phone look terrible, and unfortunately Apple and Google don't seem to have followed this approach.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that this will change soon. Consider how slowly Apple and Google have to roll out new designs in their hardware, and you can easily imagine that we have been stuck with this huge camera module for at least two to three years. Better get used to the square.