If 1 Lens on a Phone Camera Is Good, Are 2 Better?

Apple isn't saying much about its next iPhones, but there's been plenty of speculation that the giant Plus model will have two camera lenses side by side on the back.

Why? A second lens could make photos sharper or give amateur shutterbugs blurring techniques more common in full-bodied SLR cameras. Apple isn't revealing anything until its product event in San Francisco next week. For now, though, people can look at how a few other smartphone makers are using two lenses.

Motorola Moto Z

The three Moto Z phones get amazing zoom with a second lens that comes in the form of an optional attachment. Motorola unveiled its third Moto Z model and the attachment, called Hasselblad True Zoom Mod, at the IFA tech show in Berlin on Wednesday.

An accessory normally wouldn't count, but in this case, it's an integral part of the phone once you attach it with powerful magnets. The Moto Z has a mix-and-match design that makes it possible to remove its back and replace it with a speaker, a projector or a zoom lens that offers 10-fold magnification -- better than what many point-and-shoot cameras offer.

You'd be wrong to think smartphones already offer zoom capabilities by pinching out on the screen. That's just a software trick that leaves images fuzzy. The camera lens itself is fixed; you need an attachment for true zoom.

With it, a statue of Alexander Hamilton in New York's Central Park looks as sharp from afar as it would closer up. By contrast, the same statue taken with the regular lens from afar looks dull. It's possible to make out a New York University logo on a bean-bag toss game board shot with the second lens from across the lawn; with the regular lens, it's just a blob of purple.

This functionality will cost you, though. The module...

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