Most premium Samsung smartphones released in the last few years feature the company’s ISOCELL HMX 108MP camera and there is a possibility that next year’s Galaxy S23 will flaunt its Isocell HP1 200MP sensor, which the company engineers recently used to take a giant photo of a cat. Sony, which makes sensors for the likes of Apple and Google, is also said to be working on a high megapixel camera now.
Sony’s clients Apple and Google, which are behind some of the best camera phones around, appear to prioritize software processing over camera hardware, which explains why the highest-end iPhone still has a 12MP camera. Google has finally switched from the 12.2MP Sony IMX363 sensor to Samsung’s ISOCELL GN1 50MP sensor though, and Apple’s next premium phones, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are also rumored to feature a 48MP camera.
Software optimizations can only take you so far and at the end of the day, a higher resolution sensor is theoretically capable of capturing more light, giving your phone more data to work with. So, it’s welcome news that Sony’s first 100MP smartphone sensor is on the way.
This rumor comes from leaker Digital Chat Station (via NotebookCheck). Apparently, the sensor will be a part of Sony’s IMX8 series and it will be targeted at midrange handsets.
Additionally, Sony apparently also has a new Sony IMX9 series sensor in the pipeline, which will compete with Samsung’s 50MP ISOCELL GN2 sensor which has 1.4μm sized pixels. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro was the first phone to feature this 1/1.2-inches sensor.
The leaker had earlier said that Sony’s next IMX9 series camera would be a 50MP sensor that might be known as the IMX989 and it would be 1-inch in size. He had also said that the Xiaomi 12 Ultra could be the first phone to come with this sensor. Sony’s 2021 Xperia Pro-I also has a 1-inch sensor but it has a resolution of 12MP.
The leaker also claims that Samsung is readying a sensor bigger than the GN2 unit, but hasn’t provided any more details.
The CEO of Sony’s Semiconductor division had previously said that smartphone cameras would overtake DSLR cameras by 2024, and it looks like these rumored new larger and higher resolution cameras would be steps in that direction.