Why oh why do mobile phone manufacturers not do this?
Can anyone explain why mobile phone manufacturers neglect to protect the phone camera lens in any meaningful way?
There are now two blindingly good contenders* for best Android camera phone: the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S3, with camera quality and functionality we could have only dreamed of three years ago. But what will stop the lens getting dusty, smeared with finger prints, or scratched? Nothing that I can see. In which case all the leading-edge zillion megapixels, autofocus, video, multishot capability etc. are potentially wasted. Admittedly, Nokia got criticism for the sliding cover on the N97, which could trap grit and scratch the lens. But it is sure not beyond the creative genius of some of the best technical designers in the world to design an effective cover, which are standard for digital cameras.
Actually, what we call the lens is only a clear window built into the back cover – the real lens assembly is inside. And often, this window is not even hardened optical glass (though it is possible to buy replacements made of this material for some phones).
Those of us brought up with real cameras learned to use dust brushes and lens tissue as a key part of maintaining photo quality. Few mobile phone users are really aware of this necessity.
If manufacturers will not include lens covers, perhaps the accessory market could help? I will gladly live with the few extra millimeters thickness of a lens cover, in exchange for better photos. In fact, I’ve made my own slide-out cover on my HTC Desire leather case, and also glued a Nokia sliding cover [pictured] to my wife’s HTC Desire (with a cutout in the gel case to accommodate it). I therefore also removed the un-needed plastic ‘lens’ window in the Desire battery cover. Our homemade covers achieve the required objective – clean optics.
*Always read online reviews before buying a mobile phone
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