In short: Motorola is following suit with mobile industry leaders Huawei and Samsung on the imaging front and has started experimenting with triple-camera setups for smartphones, as suggested by a number of new patent filings reviewed by AndroidHeadlines. The company recently secured IP rights to two technologies designed to take advantage of systems with multiple rear lenses, one of which stitches numerous simultaneous shots into a single image, whereas the other one leverages such an abundance of cameras in order to determine a focus point of any particular scene in a timelier manner. The latter solution could even work with auxiliary cameras such as the Moto 360 Camera Mod launched last year.
Background: Triple- and quadruple-camera setups are the next big thing on the mobile photography front, many industry watchers agree. In an interview with AndroidHeadlines held earlier this year, established French image benchmarking firm DxOMark said adding at least one extra lens to dual-camera systems on phones is a natural evolution of the technology that allows manufacturers to improve their offerings in terms of pure image quality and versatility without delivering thicker devices. Huawei's P20 Pro launched this spring was the first mainstream Android handset with three rear cameras and was followed by the most recently debuted Galaxy A7 (2018) from Samsung. The upcoming Huawei Mate 20 Pro is expected to feature three back cameras as well, as is LG's V40 ThinQ, both of which are scheduled to be announced next month.
Impact: The move to triple-camera setups would help Motorola keep up with the premium segment of the smartphone market in the imaging department, though it's presently unclear whether the Lenovo-owned manufacturer is close to commercializing such a solution. With Motorola deciding against releasing a Moto Z2 Force successor this year, it appears the company will be wrapping up 2018 without a single Android flagship release but as Samsung already demonstrated with the Galaxy A7 (2018), a triple-camera is also a viable option for mid-rangers.