The Quad Bayer filter camera sensors for smartphones are here to stay. After a bunch of devices using 48 MP units have arrived recently, Realme and Redmi will take things up a notch to 64MP very soon, but that’s not the end of the line.
Samsung’s camera division will launch a 108 MP sensor on August 12. Last month, this has been rumored to arrive in phones in 2020, but that timeline may have been revised in the meantime. A couple of days ago a well known leaker shared a slide from an internal presentation that told us Xiaomi would use this Samsung ISOCELL sensor in a smartphone first, the device in question being the upcoming Mi Mix 4.
Samsung ISOCELL (@samsungisocell) August 9, 2019
If Xiaomi sticks to its usual Mix handset launch timeline, then the first phone with a 108 MP sensor will arrive this year, at least in China. It’s unclear what sensor size we’re dealing with here, but Samsung will unveil all the details in just three short days. The classic megapixel wars of years past may be over, but a new race is now on, apparently, to create the biggest possible quad-bayer array.
The 108 MP camera will shoot normally at 27MP resolution, using pixel binning. It’s not clear if you could actually take 108 MP shots (with a mind-boggling resolution of 12032×9024), perhaps through the Camera app’s Pro mode, but even if you can, you probably shouldn’t – so far, Quad Bayer sensors have been designed and engineered to shoot at 1/4 of their native resolution, ‘turning’ 4 pixels into one for added detail.