Dual main cameras, dual batteries, dual motors…Why are there more and more even number designs on mobile phones?

Good things come in pairs, double happiness comes at the door, both fortune and luck, unparalleled in the world… It seems that in Chinese dictionaries, most words about "double" have beautiful meanings.

The mobile phone field is no exception. As early as the era of feature phones, "dual card dual standby" has become one of the important selling points of mobile phones. However, since most of the phones equipped with this function were copycats, the term was not as glamorous as it is now.

With the intensified competition between data rates and operators, consumers' demand for dual-card dual-standby has not fallen but has increased. This feature has gradually been accepted by mainstream manufacturers and has become the standard configuration of smart phones.

▲ Picture from: CNET

Later, mobile phone manufacturers began to make other articles on "Double", "Double Camera" is a classic case.

HTC G17 and LG Optimus 3D are earlier smartphones equipped with dual cameras. At the beginning of the "dual shot" concept, the gimmick was greater than the practicality. Shooting 3D videos with mobile phones is a tasteless feature for most users.

▲HTC G17 (left) and LG Optimus 3D (right)

Later, the second lens on the back of the phone began to have other functions. For example, the secondary camera of HTC M8 can detect the depth of field, so that users can change the focus point when processing photos; the secondary camera of Huawei P9 is a black and white lens, which improves the quality of the photos.

Apple adopted the dual-camera solution for the first time on the iPhone 7 Plus, with the secondary camera being an equivalent 50mm telephoto lens. Since then, the multifocal range rear camera has become the pursuit of the flagship machine, and the number of cameras is increasing.

▲The dual camera solution of iPhone 7 Plus

After the trend of dual card dual standby and dual camera has passed, "Double Yang", "Dual Horse", "Dual Pressure", "Dual Power", "Dual Main Camera"… have become popular. Especially since last year, related concepts have appeared frequently and become the focus of mobile phone manufacturers' publicity.

What is the use of these functions that sound like clouds and mist? Is the concept more than practical? This is an interesting topic.

Dual speakers

The first mobile phone with dual speakers is difficult to trace. HTC One is an earlier smart phone equipped with dual speakers. The hardware advantage, combined with BeatsAudio's sound effects, makes HTC One's sense of hearing surpass that of single-speaker phones in the same period.

▲HTC One (M7)

When it comes to dual speakers, the Sony Xperia Z series must also have a name. The blessing of the xLoud and S-Force functions allows it to play sound effects in smartphones of the same period.

The dual speakers on the mobile phone allow users to enjoy 2.0-channel stereo sound in landscape mode. The sense of immersion when watching TV series and playing games is relatively stronger.

When dual speakers began to become the mainstream configuration of flagship phones, their hardware parameters began to become the object of publicity. For example, Xiaomi 10 Pro and realme X50 Pro all claim to be equipped with "1216 linear speakers", which means that their size is 12mm x 16mm, which is considered a relatively large size on mobile phones.

In the actual experience, the number and size of the speakers do play a decisive role in the external sound effect. For friends who like to use their mobile phones to listen to music and play games, dual speakers are a configuration that "you can't go back when you use them".

Double motor

In the Nokia N9 released in 2011, in order to achieve a better combination of tactile and virtual buttons, a linear motor was welded on the motherboard in advance, but it did not cause much water splash.

▲ Advanced design of Nokia N9

In 2015, the combination of the X-axis linear motor of the iPhone 6S and 3D Touch enabled consumers to pay attention to the vibration experience of mobile phones, and it also drove mobile phone manufacturers to carefully adjust the vibration motor.

From rotor motors to Z-axis linear motors and X-axis linear motors. The vibration motor experience of mobile phones is getting better and better, and the vibration feeling is becoming more and more diverse and delicate. Every time you enter text and receive information, it becomes a gentle interaction with your mobile phone.

However, in the past two years, a new concept of vibration motors has been derived: dual motors. As the name implies, two vibration motors are plugged into the phone.

For mobile game enthusiasts, the shock feedback in the game has a significant impact on the game experience. In 2020, Lenovo launched the rescuer gaming mobile phone Pro, which is equipped with an X-axis linear motor on the top and bottom of the fuselage.

▲The steering wheel and skill icons of "King of Glory" support vibration feedback

In our hands-on experience, these two motors can simulate vibration feedback in a variety of games. Whether it is a joystick or a button, it has sensitive and delicate vibration feedback, which has the taste of a PlayStation gamepad.

After that, the dual-motor design began to appear in many gaming phones, such as the iQOO 7 released earlier this year. The user portrait of this type of mobile phone is relatively clear, that is, the priority of performance and games are higher.

Due to the limited size of the motor, it is hard to say that this type of mobile phone is thin and light. Are you willing to sacrifice some lightness and beauty for a better gaming experience?

▲ Lenovo Saver Pro

Dual pressure sensitive screen

Like dual motors, dual pressure sensitive screens also serve a better gaming experience.

In March 2019, Black Shark took the lead in the Black Shark 2 gaming phone, equipped with dual-zone screen pressure sensitivity. Simply put, its interaction logic is similar to Apple's 3D Touch, but it does not require special adaptation.

The pressure sensitivity of Black Shark uses a mapping method. Users can DIY press the corresponding operation on the screen according to their own habits and preferences. For example, in the "Chicken Eating" game, the left area is mapped to "fire" and the right area is mapped to "aim", then the action of two fingers moving and shooting can be realized.

In Glory of Kings, the left area can be mapped to open/close the backpack, and the right area can be mapped to purchase equipment. During team battles, you can change equipment by pressing the screen in seconds, which is simply an official "plug-in".

In addition to the Black Shark, the dual pressure sensitive screen is also one of the major selling points of iQOO 7. The operation logic is similar to that of Black Shark, and users can set the buttons for pressure-sensitive screen mapping.

However, the gaming properties of the dual pressure sensitive screen are stronger than the dual motors, and its use scenarios are limited, and it is destined to not be as popular as dual speakers.

Double cell

When the screen refresh rate is upgraded from 60Hz to 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz, you will find that the battery of the mobile phone becomes less and less durable.

Fortunately, the charging technology of mobile phones is constantly improving. The 55W and 65W flash charging technologies are gradually being decentralized. Some flagship phones already support 120W flash charging. Basically, the Kung Fu mobile phone is fully charged after a meal.

And behind the 100% charging power, the dual-cell design is inseparable.

▲ iQOO's dual-cell design

The traditional single-cell battery is difficult to maintain the peak charging power for a long time, and the charging speed needs to be reduced in the later stage to protect the battery. In addition, the battery has a limitation on the charging current, and it is difficult for the current technology to make the charging power of a single-cell battery exceed one hundred.

If one battery cell doesn't work, then two. For example, in 2019, OPPO RenoAce first released the 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 flash charging technology, which uses dual-cell series batteries, so that each cell can input 32.5W of power at the same time, thereby improving charging efficiency.

The battery module with double cells in series can not only maintain the peak charging power for a long time, but also reduce the risk of battery charging at high power.

Although the dual cell looks very good, it is actually a technology under development. The most prominent drawback is the energy loss during the voltage output process.

Mobile phones equipped with dual-cell batteries need to install a step-down circuit to reduce the voltage output by the battery. In this process, a certain amount of energy will be wasted, which will adversely affect the battery life of the mobile phone. But I believe that as the dual-cell technology continues to mature, there will be more suitable solutions to solve this problem.

▲ The Black Shark mobile phone's "serial charge and parallel discharge" solution can reduce battery energy waste

Dual main camera

After the "dual camera" became a thing of the past, "dual main camera" became the new head in the field of mobile phone cameras.

Dual main camera means that the mobile phone has two cameras with similar specifications (usually wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle), and the difference in sensor size and imaging quality is relatively small.

The concept of dual main camera seems to be the first clear selling point of Huawei Mate30 Pro. Its wide-angle camera and ultra-wide-angle camera are both 40 million pixels. The former uses a 1/1.7-inch sensor, and the latter has a sensor size of 1/1.54 inches, which is relatively close in imaging quality.

If you use pixels as a measure, then OPPO Find X2 Pro can also be regarded as a dual-camera phone. Its wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle lenses are both 48 million pixels, which are good for convenience in video shooting and photo shooting.

The vivo X60 Pro+, which has just launched on sale, has also been branded as "dual main camera". The 50-megapixel ultra-large bottom sensor and the 48-megapixel ultra-wide-angle micro-panel form a dual-main camera system.

▲Vivo X60 Pro+ two huge main lenses

However, the concept of dual main cameras is difficult to clarify. Some people say that Xiaomi CC9 Pro, Samsung S20 Ultra and other models also adopt a dual-camera strategy. Although in terms of parameters, these phones do not have two cameras with very similar specifications.

So what conditions does a mobile phone meet to qualify as a dual-camera? There is currently no clear boundary. It is not as easy to quantify in quantity as dual motors and dual pressure sensitive screens. There are often many differences in the specifications of the two lenses.

In addition, even if the pixels of the two cameras are the same, there is a big difference in image quality in many cases. This is related to the sensor model, lens module, and tuning optimization. From this point of view, there are still a lot of subjective elements in the title of "dual subject."

▲OPPO Find X2 Pro's ultra-wide-angle and wide-angle lens are similar in size

Why is there more and more "even number design"?

Dual screens, dual antennas, dual 5G, dual-layer motherboards… There are many more about the "dual" design of mobile phones. In fact, the big reason behind these names is for the effect of advertising and marketing.

Dual corresponds to single, for example, dual card corresponds to single card. "Double" is not only down-to-earth and good for memory, but also shows the characteristic of "people have no self, and people have more self." Spending the same money can get more, which is undoubtedly more attractive to consumers.

Moreover, some designs really improve the user experience. Dual speakers allow users to enjoy a better external audio and video experience; dual motors and dual pressure sensitive screens are great for game players; and dual battery cell design solves the problem of mobile phone flash charging.

▲ Honor V40

But designs like "dual main camera" and "dual screen" are still more conceptual than practical.

For example, in the poster of Huawei Mate30 Pro, in addition to "dual main camera", there are slogans such as "dual 40 million", "dual OIS", "dual super-sensitive sensor" and so on. The purpose is to facilitate the memory of consumers and strengthen the effect of publicity.

The dual-screen mobile phone Meizu Pro 7 with the slogan "Double pupils are like small windows, beautiful landscape calendars" is also forgotten by the market due to insufficient use scenarios. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Super Cup recently exposed by foreign media is also suspected of adopting a dual-screen design at the front and rear, but whether it will repeat the mistakes of Meizu, we don’t know.

▲ Suspected Mi 11 Super Cup. Picture from: TECH BUFF

The increasing number of such "even number" designs also reflects the improvement of the manufacturing technology level of the mobile phone industry. The thinner body accommodates a richer functional design, and the degree of precision and integration of mobile phones continues to increase.

▲ The “multiple layout'' of Lenovo Saver Pro

Perhaps when the level of the mobile phone industry goes further, we will see designs such as "three main cameras" and "four battery cells" appear. The release of Xiaomi's "four-curved waterfall screen" concept phone has proven that mobile phones are moving in this direction.

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