Forward-looking: Is the next trend in smartphone design to see how many rear cameras they can hold? Yes, if a Samsung patent is any indication. It suggests a future handset that sports not only a massive six cameras, but each one is also individually tiltable.

Samsung applied for the patent, spotted by Dutch site LetsGoDigital (via BGR), back in December, and it was published by the World Intellectual Property Office last week. It describes an array containing five wide-angle cameras with a focal length of 28mm, alongside a telephoto lens and a LED flash.

While we’ve already seen phones with a high number of cameras, such as the five-camera Nokia 9 PureView, Samsung’s patent has an interesting extra element. Each of the six cameras has the ability to move, or tilt, independently, allowing better panoramic shots and bokeh effects. It’s also suggested that the feature will enable better images in poor lighting, improve focus, and offer higher dynamic range.

There are a few potential downsides to a six-camera phone. Tilting lenses sound like another movable element that could be easily broke, and the cameras might have to be housed in a fairly obtrusive block. Plus, as with the Galaxy S20 Ultra and its 108MP, 100X zoom camera, all that tech will push up the price.

As with all patents, there’s no guarantee this one will ever make it beyond the ideas stage and into a real product. Certainly don’t expect it in the Galaxy Note 20, but with megapixel count now appearing less important, perhaps next year’s Galaxy S30 or Note 30 will be a six-lens behemoth.