Huawei released a post where one of its engineers explained the advantages of the free form lens tech on the Mate 40 Pro. The machine translation is rather rough but we did get the just of it.
The free form lens is undoubtedly one of the iconic Mate 40 Pro features. Instead of using the traditional spherical or aspherical optical elements, the 20MP ultrawide camera on the phone uses an asymmetrical lens with a complex and uneven surface. With this, the engineers are trying to tackle one of the biggest issues of ultrawide cameras – distortion.
But distortion isn’t the only problem Huawei is trying to solve. Today’s smartphones are quite heavy so the free form lens will partially help with that as it’s naturally lighter and thinner as well. Perhaps in the future when this technology gets refined, we will get smaller bulges on the back of our devices. That’s because free form lenses require fewer optical elements. Moreover, the new lens tech allows for more light to pass into the sensor improving the camera’s performance and quality.
Huawei has worked on this lens for more than two years now and it’s finally ready for the mass market. The company has plans to do so with telephoto lenses too as they have a different kind of distortion of their own. Reducing the thickness of the optics is even more important there.
Source (in Chinese)