The Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Pro have leaked sufficiently already, and thus, we have a pretty good idea what the phones will look like. We also know that they will most likely lose the headphone jack but keep physical buttons, and that they will probably be "unpacked" on August 7. Another interesting rumor is also making its rounds, courtesy of leaker Ice universe, who claims the Note 10 will come with a three-stage variable aperture lens, consisting of f/1.5, f/1.8, and f/2.4.
Samsung China engineers said that the Note10 camera will use a three-stage variable aperture: F1.5/F1.8/F2.4
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 20, 2019
Ice universe has a good track record with these types of rumors and apparently received the information from Samsung China engineers. So what would a three-stage aperture even mean for photography? Our own David Ruddock wrote a piece explaining the Galaxy S9's dual aperture feature, which I can only recommend you to read if you're interested in the details.
For this article, let's stick with a shorter explanation: Traditional standalone cameras usually come with a variable aperture, which behaves similar to the eye's iris — a mechanism enables you (or the camera's software) to decide how much light is allowed through to the sensor. Smartphones, on the other hand, have always come with fixed apertures in the past, since a light-regulating mechanism is hard to pull off in the miniaturized lenses they are equipped with.
However, Samsung has already proven that it's able to do just that with the Galaxy S9's f/1.5 and f/2.4 intervals. Here, controlling the aperture allows for better low-light performance, as the camera can let in more light if needed. I would guess that the Note 10's camera will behave similarly, opening the lens more granularly depending on the conditions with its extra f/1.8 stop.
It's unclear whether this three-stage aperture will come with regular Note 10 only, the Note 10 Pro only, or both models. We've probably only got a little more than a month before we find out for sure, though.
- Ice universe