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iPhone 12 might have a startlingly high-spec rear camera, in very un-Apple move

iPhone 11
The iPhone 11's rear cameras (Image credit: Future)

The iPhone 11 has a 12MP main camera. The iPhone XS has a 12MP main camera. The iPhone X has a 12MP main camera. See a pattern here? Well, that pattern might be broken in 2020, as it sounds like the upcoming iPhone 12 might have a whopping 64MP primary snapper.

This news comes from YouTube channel EverythingApplePro, but the information is from Max Weinbach, a prolific leaker. We're doubtful of the leak, for reasons we'll get into, but Weinbach has an impressive track record, so it could be true.

According to the leak, the iPhone 12 range will have the Sony IMX 686 sensor for the main camera, which is a 64MP sensor that's also used in the Oppo Reno 3 and Redmi K30. This is the main takeaway from the leak, but there's actually more.

Apparently, the phone will also support the impressive iPhone night mode not just from the main snapper but from its ultra-wide and telephoto snappers too. In addition, the ultra-wide snapper will facilitate a macro mode (like we've seen on the OnePlus 7T Pro). All these features sound plausible – it's just the main snapper we're dubious about.

Will the iPhone 12 have a 64MP snapper?

While some smartphone companies have raced to get high megapixel counts for their rear cameras, with Xiaomi and Samsung packing 108MP sensors into their devices, Apple has resisted – as previously stated, its phones from the last few years all have 12MP main cameras.

Instead, Apple has improved everything but the resolution, with bigger sensors and better post-processing software – some might argue this makes a higher pixel count unnecessary.

Even if Apple were to bump up the pixel count on the phone's main camera, 16MP or even 48MP would be a more restrained step up than the massive rise to 64MP. 

Saying that, Weinbach is an accurate leaker generally, so we can't say for certain the iPhone 12 won't have a 64MP snapper. We'll find out in September, when we're expecting the iPhone 12 range to launch, but stay tuned before that to follow all the leaks and rumors.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.