Light, the company behind the Nokia 9’s crazy penta-camera system, quits the smartphone industry

Light, the company behind the Nokia 9’s crazy penta-camera system, quits the smartphone industry

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Smartphones with multi-camera arrays of 4 and even 5 lenses have become quite commonplace these days, but this is actually only a recent trend that’s come about. Light is a camera company that is one of the innovators in multi-camera smartphones, and their technology can be found in HMD Global’s Nokia 9 PureView. Unlike other penta-camera phones like the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 where each lens serves different purposes, the Nokia 9 PureView featured five 12MP lenses (three monochrome lenses and two color ones) that work in conjunction to produce a better photo. Before their entry into the smartphone space, Light made a name with the Light L16 camera which featured a crazy 16 lenses and was hyped as a threat to DSLRs. But now, Light has confirmed to Android Authority that it is quitting the smartphone industry.

Light L16 and Nokia 9 PureView

Light L16 camera and Nokia 9 PureView. Credits: Light.co

We haven’t seen a lot of Light’s technology in the smartphone space. The only phone that we know of to release to the market with their technology was the Nokia 9 PureView. While the phone’s penta-camera array seemed incredible on paper, it didn’t quite deliver. It got a score of 85 from DxOMark when the phone was reviewed back in September, which is far below the current leader at 128, the Huawei P40 Pro, as well as dozens of other devices. The Nokia 9 PureView’s major selling point was its camera (hence the “PureView” in the phone’s name), so that’s where we start to run into problems.

Light’s confirmation to Android Authority means that we likely won’t be seeing any more of their camera technology in any future smartphones. Light says that they are “no longer operating in the smartphone industry,” but we don’t know exactly when they decided to call it quits. Interestingly, the front page of the company’s website promoted the use of its technology in smartphones until July 31, 2019, after which the front page was updated to promote automotive applications.

Besides HMD Global, Light also announced partnerships with Xiaomi and Sony in early 2019. The partnership with Xiaomi meant we would have seen Xiaomi smartphones with Light’s camera tech in the future, while Sony’s partnership would’ve meant the two companies would work to integrate Light’s technology with Sony sensors. But we haven’t yet seen anything actually come out of these partnerships, and today’s news mean that we probably never will.


Source: Android Authority