Smartphones with a new 200-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL sensor reported to be coming soon
According to a report on GizChina, Samsung is gearing up to launch “many innovative sensors” during the course of 2021, including a new 200(ish)-megapixel sensor intended for smartphone use. The information was posted originally by Twitter use Ice universe, who has been known for posting reliable information in the past when it comes to smartphone tech and smartphone camera sensors.
It’s been suggested that the 200-megapixel sensor will actually be 216-megapixels, given that the current model 108-megapixel sensor is often referred to as simply 100-megapixels. And then there’s that 600-megapixel smartphone sensor Samsung has already confirmed they’re working on.
While the resolution of smartphone sensors seems absolutely insane when you hear the discussions surrounding larger and lower resolution sensors found in DSLR and mirrorless cameras. But, smartphone tech presses on and that higher resolution does have some benefits when it comes to smartphone photography vs using a “real camera”.
With technologies like quad-Bayer type arrangements (and some even combining nine pixels into one) the actual final output resolution of smartphone cameras isn’t really anywhere near as high as the raw megapixel count suggests. And even on devices that do let you access the full unfiltered resolution, it’s usually in rather limited modes or with caveats (like terrible colours, contrast and other issues that are typically corrected automatically when the phone converts to a scaled-down jpg).
As to exactly when we’ll see the new 200-megapixel and 600-megapixel sensors announced is unclear, beyond “soon” (at least for the 200). When it’ll actually appear inside a smartphone is another question entirely. Presumably, Samsung will be licensing this out to other smartphone manufacturers as they have done in the past. But, it’s also possible that they might just hold onto it for themselves for that next round of Galaxy smartphones.
Samsung is also said to be working on a 150-megapixel 1-inch sensor… Yup. A 1-inch sensor. In a phone.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.