Samsung seems to be extremely committed to bringing high-resolution cameras to smartphones, and it already has a 250MP image sensor in the pipeline.
Earlier this month, Samsung revealed its goal of eventually creating sensors that boast 600MP to try and “rival the human eye”.
That is at least a few years away, so first Samsung is reportedly working on a 150MP sensor with a 250MP sensor coming soon after. This information comes from Chinese tech site MyDrivers (opens in new tab), and while we've heard of the 150MP tech before this is the first mention of 250MP.
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Higher-resolution sensors have a couple of distinct advantages over conventional sensors. The most obvious one is the significantly higher level of details in the image that can be retained while cropping it. Secondly, the higher number of pixels can be combined to create much larger individual pixels for better low-light imaging and color fidelity.
For context, the 108MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor can combine nine adjacent pixels through a technique called pixel-binning to create a 12MP image with a 2.4μm pixel size. Having more pixels at its disposal could allow for a higher factor of pixel-binning.
The more interesting bit is that this rumored 250MP sensor might also be much larger in size, spanning close an inch diagonally.
This is an important aspect as cramming so many pixels over a smaller sensor will greatly affect low-light imaging. That said, adding a larger sensor into a phone is also difficult as it takes up space in the device's design.
Samsung’s 150MP ISOCELL sensors may land as early as next year, so it may be something we'll see in the Samsung Galaxy S30 range that we expect to hear about in early 2021.
Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo are all said to be interested in the technology, so we may see this tech used on devices from those manufacturers too. Samsung’s upcoming phones such as the Galaxy Note 20 and the Fold 2 will likely stick to the 108MP camera we saw in the Galaxy S20 Ultra.