The smartphone camera megapixel war is far from over. Samsung’s newest sensor is all the proof you need.
The just-announced Galaxy Note 10‘s f/2.2 ultrawide can shoot beautiful 16 MP images. Huawei’s very capable P10 features a 20MP Leica shooter. This new Samsung sensor beats that by more than five times and the company says it puts smartphone photos on par with those from a DSLR.
It’s capable of capturing images at resolutions up to 12,032 x 9,024 pixels — or 108MP. Want to shoot a video? Knock yourself out. The sensor records 6K (6016 x 3384) video at 30 frames per second.
Ridiculously high-resolution images and videos aren’t the only tricks this new sensor has up its sleeve, however.
It also features Samsung’s Tetracell tech. Tetracell allows the sensor to bunch pixels of the same color together when it needs to — for example, when you’re shooting in darker environments. When Tetracell is working to its full potential, pictures are still snapped at 27MP.
Even when pixels don’t need to be merged, the big, 1/1.33-inch sensor captures plenty of light.
Samsung developed this new sensor with the help of the China-based Xiaomi. They call the result of their collaboration ISOCELL Bright HMX, and Samsung is on track to start mass-production at the end of this month.
It shouldn’t be too long before we see it popping up in a smartphone, either. Earlier this summer, analysts at Credit Suisse predicted that we’d see 108MP sensors in phones as early as 2020.
That seems all but guaranteed with the sensor headed to production lines soon. As far as when we’re start to see some devices, both CES and MWC 2020 seem like good opportunities for an unveiling. It’s a safe bet that both Samsung and Xiaomi will want to be quick out of the blocks with the first phones that could truly give DSLR cameras a run for their money.
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