How many cameras do you need in your mobile?

The conceptual 'How Many Cameras' smartphone is the design work of Phoenix Bai and takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to technology design. The smartphone is outfitted with an outrageous 47 camera lenses on the rear that are accented with four flashes, one at each corner of the device. The unit pokes fun at the technology market that is seemingly adding an additional camera lens to devices each year and is thus opening the conversation up to what number might be perceived as too many.

The conceptual 'How Many Cameras' smartphone takes a distinctly cheeky approach to device design and takes a small jab at a traditionally staunch industry to help make light of a topic that is becoming increasingly ripe for parody.

Phone Cameras


The idea of a smartphone dotted with camera lenses does irk me, but conceptually it’s too funny an idea to ignore. The How Many Cameras Smartphone is a parody concept by Phoenix Bai, who pokes fun at companies (Apple, we’re watching you) that just incrementally increase the number of cameras on their phones for the sake of ‘innovation’.

The smartphone directly points its guns at the L16 smartphone by Light, which had a whopping 16 camera lenses on its back. The How Many Cameras smartphone, however, sports a mind-numbing 47 lenses on the back, accompanied by four flashes on the corner. Obviously, it isn’t a concept to be taken seriously, but given the trajectory of tech, I wouldn’t be surprised if even 20% of that became a reality. (My OnePlus 8 Pro currently has 4 cameras on the back, which is 3 more than my Pixel 2 had)

Mobile Phone Cameras


What would even be the advantage of having a 47-lens smartphone though? For starters, I imagine you’d practically be able to 3D scan every photo or video you take in real-time (although your hand would feature in a lot of them). 47 bumps would even dramatically make it easier to grip the phone, preventing it from accidentally falling or slipping from your hand. The disadvantages, however, outweigh those cons by a MASSIVE margin. Imagine getting finger-smudges on those lenses? Or never being able to put a case on your smartphone because the back-panel would have to be bare? How about the fact that 47 freaking lenses would mean no place for a wireless charging coil? Or that running your camera app could drain your battery in a matter of minutes… This smartphone is clearly a parody, but it does ask a fundamentally important question. How many cameras IS too many? 4? 5? 16? At this point, I’d just prefer carrying a DSLR with me…

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