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(Image credit: Weibo)

While the bigger players tend to dominate the smartphone space, there are so many fascinating developments when it comes to camera phone tech that some of the greatest innovations come from the other manufacturers.

Still, it's not just the new things that shake the industry up; old school can also be new cool. Realme, which has emerged as a serious player in the industry, looks like it's bringing back the heart rate monitor on fingerprint scanners, while Motorola set everyone's nostalgia tails wagging with the launch of the Motorola Razr 5G.

And of course, now that Sony has finally torn down the walls between its Alpha and mobile divisions, we could finally see its camera phones realize the potential that everyone always expected…

Realme 9 Pro Plus rumors

The upcoming Realme 9 Pro Plus is tipped to have a triple-camera array with 64MP, 8MP and 2MP modules on the back, with a 16MP camera on the front.

Realme's vice president, Madhav Sheth, has tweeted that the Pro Plus will get a heart rate monitor, sharing a video showing how this will work on the smartphone (see below). A heart rate monitor is sure to appeal as a fun feature and especially to those interested in monitoring their health and fitness, without the need to purchase equipment outside of their phone. 

In the past, Samsung has featured heart rate monitors built into its Galaxy and Note smartphones (Samsung Galaxy S through to Note 9) but we haven’t seen them included since, or by other phone manufacturers, so it’s a nice feature to see return. 

The video clip shared by Sheth shows the heart rate monitor using the in-screen fingerprint scanner, so now we know that this unlocking feature will be included for the Realme 9 Pro Plus too. What isn’t clear is if the Realme 9 Pro Plus will be the only camera phone in the 9 series to get the heart rate monitor feature, or if the also confirmed 9 and 9 Pro will too.

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TikTok smartphone rumors

(Image credit: ByteDance)

Could a smartphone built around an enormously popular app be a hit with consumers? ByteDance certainly hopes so, as it is reportedly developing a phone catering to its TikTok app – even though history suggests is a bad idea.

ByteDance – developer of the app, which has been downloaded over a billion times – is apparently working on a TikTok smartphone consisting of preloaded software built around the app, as well as the company's other successful apps like News Republic and content aggregator TopBuzz / Toutiao. 

The project is apparently being handling in-house, rather than being farmed it out to a traditional smartphone manufacturer. Which either means that it will avoid all the expected pitfalls that befell the Android Fire and the HTC First 'Facebook phone', or it will smash headlong into the reality of being a first-time developer trying to make a phone to compete with the big boys. 

More phone rumors and news: iPhone rumors  • Samsung phone rumorsHonor phone rumors • Oppo phone rumors • Xiaomi phone rumors • Google Pixel rumors

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Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 18 years experience in the publishing industry. Since working on, she’s been freelancing, and contributing to some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. She's currently acting as editor of - a website specializing in the latest cellular technology.