You mightn’t realise it, but most smartphone cameras have a fixed aperture and make their adjustments using a combination of shutter speed, ISO setting and AI magic. Aperture is the third angle of the photography triangle (the the others being ISO and shutter speed), and allows adjustment of the diameter of the aperture (or hole) through which light passes. By adjusting aperture, you can adjust depth of field (using light only, no AI needed), restrict the amount of light getting in (so you can take longer exposures without washing out your images) and more.
Until very recently, variable aperture in smartphones wasn’t really a thing. Samsung pioneered it last year in the Galaxy S9 which had a dual aperture camera; you could actually see the aperture blades close and open when it adjusted. However, it offered just two settings – f/1.5 (or wide open) and f/2.4 (a little bit less open), whereas your average (non-smartphone) camera offers any number of settings between say f/1.5 and f/22.
Smartphone cameras aren’t there yet, but Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 will offer a step up, with three variable aperture settings, according to a leak published on SamMobile.
The Galaxy Note 10 will offer an f/1.5 setting for letting lots of light in, for better photos and low noise in low light. A mid-range f/1.8 will dial things back just slightly, for good all-around performance, and there’ll be a third – f/2.4 – for use in brightly lit scenes where the amount of light can be less, so you can dial back overexposure – a common complaint for Samsung cameras.
It’s unclear if both Galaxy Note 10 models will feature this or if Samsung plans on limiting it to the Galaxy Note 10 Pro. Nevertheless, this is an exciting possibility, one that would make the Galaxy Note 10 quite a unique device.