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Tecno's Vision Innovates Smartphone Photography with Liquid Lens and Periscope Innovation

Exploring the Pioneering Camera Technologies that Could Redefine Mobile Imaging

NEWS  Photography  December 13, 2023  Reading time: 2 Minute(s)

mdo Max (RS editor)

Chinese phone manufacturer Tecno has recently unveiled groundbreaking camera innovations, showcasing its commitment to pushing the boundaries of smartphone photography. Despite being relatively unknown in the US and Western Europe, Tecno has made significant strides in producing cost-conscious devices tailored for emerging markets since its establishment in 2006.

Some time ago we talked about Transsion, a mostly unknown brand that it's at fifth position among global smartphone makers. We explained how Transsion is the parent company behind many brands that are very popular in Africa and other emerging markets. One of those brands is Tecno, not a giant for sure, at least until now, but what they are planning is probably one of the most significant advancements in mobile photography.

One of Tecno's standout advancements is the integration of a liquid lens within a periscope camera module. While liquid lenses are not entirely new in the smartphone industry, Tecno takes a unique approach by embedding the liquid lens within a periscope setup. This design not only addresses space constraints within the smartphone body but also opens up possibilities for enhanced zoom capabilities and precise focusing, transforming the lens into a versatile tool for macro photography.


The liquid lens technology itself, pioneered by Xiaomi's Mi Mix Fold in 2021, utilizes a droplet of liquid encased in a film membrane. What sets it apart is the ability to alter the lens's diameter through a precision electric motor, allowing for different focal lengths and minimum focal distances—all achieved with a single lens element. This innovation is especially crucial in avoiding the need for a bulky stack of multiple lens elements, ensuring a sleek and practical smartphone design.

Tecno's ingenuity extends beyond the liquid lens, with the introduction of a W-shaped aperture diaphragm. Departing from the conventional petal-shaped blades seen in variable apertures, Tecno's unique approach claims to reduce glare and better control the amount of light reaching the sensor. While it remains unclear if this W-shaped diaphragm surpasses traditional designs, its compact nature makes it an intriguing solution for smartphone applications.


Additionally, Tecno is doubling down on its commitment to portrait photography, building on the success of the Tecno Phantom X2 Pro, which won GSMArena's best smartphone portrait camera in 2022. The introduction of the Universal Tone image processing system aims to capture more accurate skin tones by utilizing unbiased data pools, transcending ethnicity biases commonly found in existing systems.

Despite these exciting innovations, the timeline for the commercial availability of Tecno's advanced camera technology remains uncertain. It is also unclear whether these cutting-edge features will be integrated into smartphones targeted at Western markets. 



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