When it comes to smartphone cameras, there are a few factors which make a phone 'the best', but one of the main points of comparison is the main sensor's megapixel count – and it seems Chinese smartphone company Realme might be about to blow the competition out of the water.
Realme CEO Madhav Sheth shared on Twitter two images of a city photographed from across a bay, which you can see below. One was taken with what the watermark says is a '64MP AI Quad Camera', and the other with a 48MP snapper, and there are crops of each image, zoomed in to show areas of detail.
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The highest-megapixel snapper we've seen on a smartphone so far is 48MP, which many modern devices have, but Samsung has announced that it has developed a 64MP sensor for phones, which represents the next step up in terms of handset picture quality – and that appears to be the sensor used here.
Samsung's sensor is known as the 64MP ISCOCELL Bright GW1, and in a separate tweet Sheth said the image was taking using a "smartphone camera with 64MP GW1".
Realme hasn't had much of a presence in Western markets yet, but if it launches a phone with a 64MP main camera, especially if it has other lenses as well, it could make its mark on the smartphone landscape.
The race to 64MP
We've seen a few rumors now that suggest multiple companies are working to put 64MP snappers in their handsets – the only question is who'll be first. Since Samsung has created the only 64MP sensor we know about so far, we expect other companies to use Samsung's tech, but that's not necessarily guaranteed.
Here's a glimpse of what this realme prototype can do. Even compared it with some other flagship model in a more premium price segment. Buckle up and #DareToLeap to some real exciting camera experience this year. pic.twitter.com/kVgz9griQyJune 25, 2019
Previously, we've heard that Xiaomi is working on a phone with a 64MP camera, based on lines of code in Xiaomi's proprietary user interface, although we don't know anything else about that handset.
We've also heard that Samsung is considering putting its 64MP sensor inside the Samsung Galaxy A70S, an updated model of the Samsung Galaxy A70, although we'd also expect to see it in future handsets from the company, such as the Samsung Galaxy S11.
The announcement from Realme, however, is the first confirmation we've got from a company that it's using the tech in a handset. Whether this means we're going to see a 64MP camera on a Realme handset first, or whether it's just the company using social media to promote itself as a cutting-edge brand, remains to be seen.
In a tweet to a fan, Sheth promised the quad-camera Realme handset will be out by the end of 2019, so perhaps we'll be hearing more about it soon – stay tuned to TechRadar to see if this is indeed the future of smartphone cameras.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.