ASUS has given strong indications that the centrepiece of its CES 2015 trade show activity will be the launch of a new smartphone, with a focus on photography. The company has released a video containing Morse code and a tagline, seemingly designed to provide a couple of major hints about what it has in store.
The video contains Morse code which carries the message ‘optical zoom’ alongside the tagline ‘See what others can’t see’.
ASUS’ Morse code fun followed the release – shortly before Christmas – of a Facebook video which also included the ‘See what others can’t see’ tagline. This earlier video also provided a brief glimpse of a smartphone which appeared to include two camera lenses.
Although smartphones are eating into the traditional compact camera market, one feature still lacking from nearly all handsets is an optical zoom. To get closer to the action with a smartphone requires processes such as enlarging and cropping, which reduce picture quality.
Improvements in smartphone camera resolutions have meant that it is often possible to crop photos without necessarily then having to enlarge.
Nonetheless, using a camera’s own optics is still preferable in terms of output quality and convenience. Cropping reduces an image’s size – which is not good for display on larger screens, or big prints – and can necessitate spending time editing photos.
There has already been a high-profile example of a smartphone with an optical zoom lens. In 2013, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom was released, which featured a 10x optical zoom.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom did not prove to be a global hit, and as a result, Samsung has not released a successor. With its lens retracted, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom has a depth of 15.4mm, making it very bulky in comparison to standard, contemporary smartphones.
ASUS’ range of Zenfone smartphones has been well received, as they offer very decent specs for relatively little money. If the company manages to produce a handset which features optical zoom, but without the bulk of the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, it could emerge as one of the success stories of CES 2015.
There is not long to wait now to find out what ASUS has been working on, with its CES press event scheduled for Monday, January 5.
[via Android Central]