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

DigitalOptics camera Mem

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 AndroidWorld.it, 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.

Computing

Chrome’s dark mode may cast its shadow over Macs by early 2019

By early 2019 Google may release a version of Chrome for Mac users that offers a Dark Mode feature to match MacOS Mojave's recent darkening.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Gaming

‘Street Fighter V’ players will get bonuses if they allow in-game ads

Capcom will show in-game advertisements on Street Fighter V starting December 11. Players may choose to deactivate the ads, but they will miss out on some bonuses and content if they do so.
Deals

Best deals on home security cameras to save you from package thieves

Home security camera systems can help keep your home and your family safe. Amazon's deals on Blink security cameras and Ring Video Doorbells also help you save money on devices you can access regardless of your current location.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.