The Huawei P30 Pro offers an unprecedented zoom capability for a smart phone camera thanks to a simple periscope, and now we have our first inside look. As seen in the full breakdown made by the JerryRigEverything YouTube channel, the Huawei 5x optical zoom camera module has been broken, showing that a telephoto lens and a mirror can really fit inside an extremely thin phone. That helps achieve a better zoom than any smartphone we've seen to date.
The periscope lens shown in the image above may not seem very large, but to fit it inside the phone, Huawei had to place it on its side, as was also revealed in a previous disassembly performed by iFixit. Traditionally, phone manufacturers place a sensor directly behind a lens, but there is often compensation.
Depending on the thickness of your phone, the thickness of the camera's battery determines whether the camera is embedded with the chassis, such as the LG G8 ThinQ, or if it rises in a camera shot, such as the iPhone XS, Google Pixel 3, and even the Huawei P30 Pro has each. A periscope lens is an intelligent way to zoom because it allows a much larger canvas with which to implement hardware like this, and is just the beginning of this idea.
Theoretically, you could get an even longer zoom: the periscope lenses could extend deeper into the internal parts of a phone if the manufacturers make room. If Huawei (or other companies) have this idea, the main challenge is to find out what else they are willing to sacrifice (for example, part of the battery capacity) to place a longer lens inside. Such a change could require the remodeling of the internal architecture of the phones.
One of our main problems with the camera's performance of the P30 Pro is that you can only enjoy its two best tricks independently: the 5x optical zoom is limited to the periscope lens, while its excellent photography Low light is limited to your set of two standard lenses. The two do not mix. Here we hope that future phones will try even longer telephoto lenses, and pair them with more capable sensors to match.