Images have surfaced today of a new handset from LG that offers a fully functional 3 x optical zoom. This combined with a 12 megapixel CCD sensor may have the likes of Sony Ericsson and Nokia worried.
Since the launch of the first camera phone, the race to offer the highest number of megapixels has lead manufactures to producing handsets which offer a realistic alternative to compact cameras. Last year Samsung announced the W880, a 12mp camera phone with a 3 x optical zoom. It appears that LG have also decided to reassess their strategy and are looking at other features which can help to strengthen their range of camera phones.
Ask any photographer which element is more important – quality of the lens or megapixels? The response 9 times out of 10 will be quality of the lens. The LG L-03C is shown as using a Pentax 1:3.6-5.5 lens. This quality of lens should yield significantly improved images then those taken on competing camera phones. This combined with the design and high quality finish should go a long way when appealing to the consumer.
However, this isn’t the first handset to offer a high quality optical zoom. Samsung have trialed optical zooms in the past. The G800 released back in 2007 also boasted a 3 x optical zoom with a 5mp camera. In the UK the G800 struggled to gain support after receiving much hype. During a period when phones were becoming slimmer then ever, a thicker then normal handset wasn’t well received.
More recent times have seen a huge increase in smart phone sales indicating consumers may not be so judgmental over a handsets size if it has the features to justify the compromise. The LG L-03C although compact for a 12mp camera, appears to be larger then the average mobile phone. Unfortunately early reports indicate the handset is lacking in features such as Wifi and GPS, both of which can be found on many standalone cameras today. The significant increase in size and lack of features may be a deal breaker for many prospective customers?
Undoubtedly the handset looks great and is still in a pre-release stage. The finished product may include the missing features making it a very strong product for LG. What is clear is that as manufactures reach the limit on how many megapixels they can squeeze into their handsets, new avenues and features will need to be explored to beat competition and remain unique in the marketplace.