At this point, it’s pretty much a given that the higher-end 2019 iPhones — the successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — will be getting a triple-lens camera system. We’ve seen leaks and renders of the purported new design, and even a supposed chassis for the upcoming model.
All of these reflect a new, square camera bump that seems almost too ugly for Apple’s usually clean design aesthetic, although there have also been discussions on how Apple will mitigate this, perhaps with a new rear panel design, or a special black lens-coating that would make the lenses themselves look less conspicuous.
While almost all of these rumours suggest the triple-lens camera system, and presumably the big ugly square bump, would only be coming to those higher-end iPhone models, a new revelation from OnLeaks shows that the updated version of the lower-end iPhone XR (which some are suggesting may be called the iPhone XE) will also gain the same physical camera bump, despite only having two lenses.
OnLeaks has a pretty solid track record for these kinds of predictions, and in renders created in partnership with Pricebaba, the report notes that the design isn’t expected to significantly change from the current iPhone XR in any other way, but for whatever reason Apple will add a large square bump for the cameras to the glass rear panel. Despite this, the cameras will still be arranged vertically, much as they are on the current iPhone XS, however the LED flash will be moved to the side, rather than being placed in between the two cameras.
The report notes that the front of the new 2019 iPhone XR will remain the same, however, keeping the large display notch for the TrueDepth camera, and a 6.1-inch display. Based on the size, OnLeaks adds that the resolution will also likely remain the same — 1,792 x 828 pixels.
The dimensions, ports, and buttons are also expected to remain almost identical, with the 2019 version measuring 150.9 x 76.1 x 7.8 mm, and the camera bump adding an extra 0.7 mm to the thickness. While this would be a very slight increase from the current iPhone XR, it’s unlikely to be noticeable by those without precision measuring callipers or extremely tight-fitting cases.
Although the shift to a dual-lens camera is extremely likely, there’s little else known about the actual camera specifications. OnLeaks echoes most of the other reports we’ve seen stating that Apple will likely keep both lenses at 12 megapixels in resolution, incorporating wide-angle and 2X lens technology similar to what’s currently found in the iPhone XS. The front TrueDepth camera is also likely to feature the same specs this time around.
If these rumours are true, it’s still a bit baffling why Apple would feel the need to put the same big ugly bump on the rear of a dual-lens iPhone. Perhaps there are technical advantages to moving the LED flash over to one side, or perhaps Apple is simply trying to maintain aesthetic consistency across it’s entire 2019 lineup. However, this is something it didn’t see a need to do with last year’s iPhone XR, either in terms of flash placement or design language; the prior model features the camera bump only over the lens itself, with the flash placed below and flush with the rest of the rear glass casing.