If you've been obsessing about smartphones as long as we have, you'll remember the groundbreaking spinning camera on the Oppo N1 all the way back in 2013:
Image: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr CC
It was followed up by the Oppo N3 in 2014, which also had a spinning camera – a smart solution to the whole "we want a good camera on both sides but for the phone not to cost very much" issue we're still facing today, although now it's more "we want three good cameras on each side." Spoilt.
Six years on from the N1, Samsung has concluded that Oppo was onto something, and made its own spinning camera phone: the Galaxy A80.
Samsung has combined the camera flipper with another big trend this year: sliders. The result is a really ingenious handset whereby you slide the camera portion out and the camera automatically orients itself to the type of photo you're trying to take (rear or front-facing).
This is somewhat confusingly demonstrated in the TV ad, which shows a lip sync between two people on either side of the camera:
It also makes an appearance in the 'Meet the Galaxy A' video about halfway through, promising to "shoot epic on both sides" (shudder):
It's interesting to see a mechanism like this in a mid-range phone rather than a flagship – it shows how far phones have come since the N1, and it's good to see manufacturers innovating in the traditionally boring middle market.
However, what will concern some people – as with the popup selfie camera rumoured on the OnePlus 7 – is how well the camera mechanism will hold up over time. It's an extra moving part, and presumably a lot easier to break than a stationery camera built into the handset.
On the bright side, it means a relatively inexpensive phone has a strong treble camera setup: a 48MP main snapper, 8MP ultra-wide and 8MP 3D time-of-flight camera on both the front and back (...just not at the same time). To get those specs on a phone without the rotating function, you would of course need six cameras.
Besides the camera, the other specs on the Galaxy A80 are worth a look: you get a 6.7-inch super AMOLED notchless screen at FHD+ resolution (393 pixels per inch), octa-core Exynos chipset (2 x 2.2GHz + 6 x 1.8GHz), 128GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, a 3700 mAh battery, 25W fast charging and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. However, there's no microSD slot, so that 128GB is all you're getting – a surprising decision on a camera-focused phone.
The Galaxy A80 comes out in the UK on the 29th of May and will cost around £550 if the €650 European price is anything to go by. What do you think of the spinning camera – cool innovation or just another thing to break over the span of a two-year contract? Let us know in the comments. [TheNextWeb]