While Samsung has been the first brand to cross 100MP and 200MP barriers in the smartphone camera segment, Sony has trumped its South Korean rival by developing a 1-inch sensor. The Japanese firm will be the first to launch a 1-inch smartphone camera sensor, the IMX989.
The Sony IMX989 1-inch camera sensor will debut with the Xiaomi 12S Ultra. The device will be launched alongside the Xiaomi 12S and the Xiaomi 12S Pro on July 4, 2022. It is a 50MP camera sensor, and its native pixel size will be around 1.5µm, which should theoretically offer excellent performance in low-light conditions.
While some Sony phones already use 1-inch sensors, they are all cropped versions of sensors used in Sony’s digital cameras. The IMX989 is the first 1-inch sensor explicitly made for smartphones. Sony is also rumored to be working on a 100MP mid-range camera sensor.
Samsung’s biggest sensor is the ISOCELL GN2. It has an optical format of 1/1.12-inch and a native pixel size of 1.4µm. Despite the ISOCELL GN2 being the best ISOCELL sensor, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is rumored to use the ISOCELL HP1. It is a 200MP camera sensor with an optical format of 1/1.22-inch and 0.64μm native pixel size.
Sony’s new IMX989 camera sensor should offer much better image and video quality than Samsung’s 200MP camera sensor. However, a lot also depends on image processing algorithms. So, only time will tell if Samsung’s upcoming flagship phone can match the camera performance of the Xiaomi 12S Ultra.
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