As dozens of smartphone makers unveiled their latest hardware at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, the next phase of mobile innovation came into focus: The camera.
As smartphones have become increasingly similar in design, performance and utility, their designers are turning to photography as a means to differentiate their work from the competition.
One of the more interesting examples, complete with 5x optical zoom lens, came from Oppo, a Chinese smartphone brand you're sure to hear more about shortly. Other, more well-known brands, like Sony and Huawei, also touted their smartphones' photography prowess. Samsung and Apple are sure to follow with camera innovations of their own in their next Galaxy and iPhone devices, respectively. (Apple is rumoured to be introducing a 3D camera, for instance.)
There's good reason for smartphone makers to be leaning into camera tech. Our mobile experience is becoming increasingly visual, and hardware companies will ignore that shift at their own peril.