Skip to main content

Exclusive: Nexus 5 probably won’t feature Lytro-like camera tech (Updated)

DigitalOptics camera Mem
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Check out our review of the Google Nexus 5 smart phone.

The Nexus 5 is potentially the next major smartphone release of the year, and rumors concerning its specification are spreading. The latest deals with the camera, which according to some detective work done by Italian Android blog, could be the first to use DigitalOptics’ Mems|cam camera. This has come about due to the discovery of the camera’s model number, IMX179, which the site linked with DigitalOptics.

We spent some time with the Mems|cam camera during Mobile World Congress, so this was pretty exciting news. The camera module works in a similar way to the Lytro camera, in that focus can be adjusted after a picture has been taken, so different elements can be brought to the forefront and alter the composition of a photo. Its super fast facial recognition was also impressive. It also took up much less space than a Lytro, which is shaped like a cylinder of sorts.

However, an anonymous source with knowledge of DigitalOptics plans has contacted us to pour cold water over what has been a hot rumor until now. “The Nexus rumors are just that,” we were told. The IMX179 is apparently a common 8-megapixel Sony sensor chip, and while it has been used by DigitalOptics before – hence its discovery in their literature – this, “Shouldn’t be taken to mean the next Nexus phone will feature a Mems|cam camera.”

We speculated DigitalOptics’ cool camera may arrive in what eventually became the Oppo N1, as interest in the tech from the up-and-coming firm has been explicitly mentioned by DigitalOptics in the past. This turned out not to be the case, however its appearance is certainly getting closer, as the company announced it had signed a deal with Lite-On to produce the modules in small numbers late this year, with higher volumes expected in 2014.

So, at this stage it doesn’t appear the Nexus 5 will be coming with DigitalOptics’ cool camera technology built-in, but that doesn’t mean deals aren’t still being struck behind closed doors in an effort to get it into a smartphone near you soon.

Updated on 10/09/2013 by Andy: It’s now official, the smartphone manufacturer Oppo has placed an order with DigitalOptics for its Mems|cam modules, and will be the first manufacturer to use the technology. The press release states other rumors connecting it to different smartphones were inaccurate.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Flash deal: Get $100 off the latest iPad Mini for Memorial Day
An iPad Mini standing in tent mode.

Best Buy has one of the best iPad deals around but it only lasts for as long as today does. Right now, you can buy the latest Apple iPad mini for $400 meaning you’re saving $100 off the regular price of $500. A great and highly portable tablet, it’s sure to be a hit with Apple fans and more. Here’s what you need to know about it before you buy but remember that you only have until the end of the day to grab it for this price.

Why you should buy the Apple iPad mini
The best iPad around for anyone seeking something small, the Apple iPad mini is a “little powerhouse” as our review explains. It has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and wide color support so it’s small but looks gorgeous. It’s powered by an A15 Bionic chip so it can handle quite a lot including many games or simply multitasking.

Read more
Not getting text notifications on your iPhone? Here’s how to fix it
The home screen on the Apple iPhone 15 Plus.

Are you not receiving text notifications on your iPhone 15 Pro or another iPhone model? Concerned about missing important messages? Worry not! You should be able to get things fixed in no time at all.

Read more
Best Apple deals: Save on AirPods, Apple Watch, iPad, MacBook
Apple MacBook Air M1 open, on a table.

Between some of the best wireless earbuds, the best smartwatches, the best laptops, and even the best tablets, Apple is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, and it's hard to argue with how popular it's become. Of course, being a premium brand with some of the best gear does mean that it's pretty expensive, and for those who love the Apple ecosystem, it can be hard to justify buying something within it, given the price. Luckily, there are a lot of excellent deals floating around from various online retailers, like Amazon or Best Buy, and that includes things like trade-in offers and special offers for Prime and My Best Buy members.

That's why we've gone out and searched through various big retailers to find you some of the best deals we can find. That includes everything from the MacBook deals, AirPods deals, Apple TV deals and Apple Watch deals to the AirTag, so hopefully, you can find the perfect deal that fits your needs and budget.
Apple AirTag (4-Pack) -- $79, was $99

Read more