Cameras are still the distinguishing feature for phones, and OEMs are constantly trying to market something new and interesting. Now that the term ‘dual cameras’ (or even triple cameras) has lost its fizz, we have circled back to marketing high-resolution sensors with towering megapixel (Mp) count.
This year we will see the 48Mp camera specs being thrown about a lot. We already have a handful of phones with Sony IMX586 and Samsung GM1 sensors, and a lot more are on their way.
If you are looking to buy a phone with 48MP rear cameras, here is all that you should know.
- Is higher megapixel count better?
- Samsung GM1 vs Sony IMX586 Sensor – Which One is better?
- Best 48MP camera sensor smartphones You can Buy
Is higher megapixel count better?
The megapixel count or resolution of your camera is merely a measurement of how big an image you can shoot, and is not a metric for image quality. More the pixels, the wider canvas on which you can stretch the image on. Which is why 12MP or 13MP is big enough for all practical purposes.
The thing with stuffing more pixels in a tiny smartphone sensor is that the size of individual pixels shrinks. For instance, the size of each pixel for the Sony IMX586 48MP sensor is just 0.8 microns. Without proper software to compensate, this could result in a loss of details and dynamic range, especially in low light.
But that’s an extreme situation we are talking about. Usually, a moderately high camera sensor resolution gives the software more data to work with, which is how most OEMs overcome photography limitations on phones.
The 48MP sensors we see today have a quad-Bayer filter, or in simpler terms, they have been designed to shoot 12MP images, but do allow for 48MP bragging rights.
Samsung GM1 VS Sony IMX586 sensor – Which one is better?
Samsung ISOCELL GM1 and Sony’s Stacked CMOS IMX586 are the two 48MP sensors as of now and they are both theoretically same. Each is a 1/2-inch sensor with 0.8-micron pixel size and each combines four pixels for an effective 12Mp image output. Both of these sensors support PDAF and HDR.
We heard reports in media that the Samsung GM1 sensor (part number S5KGM1) has 12million pixels and not actual 48 million pixels and uses software interpolation to yield full 48MP resolution images. However, nothing on Samsung’s official website substantiate these claims.
On the official page, the GM1 is clearly stated to have 48-megapixels and is said to combine 4-pixels to 1, just as the Sony IMX586.
Having said that, Xiaomi is using the Sony IMX586 on the ‘Pro’ variant of Redmi Note 7 and the Samsung GM1 on the regular sensor. This does imply that the IMX576 is the more preferred of the two.
Best Phones with 48MP camera sensor that you can buy in India
1. Honor View 20
Huawei is one brand that aggressively chases ‘First’ titles, and its Honor View 20 (Review) is the first phone in India to include a 48MP camera (Sony IMX586). It’s also the first phone in India with an in-display camera sensor. All cameras are backed by smart AI software and can capture remarkable details in proper lighting and the handset also has a very effective night mode.
The Honor View 20 is powered by the very powerful 7nm Kirin 980 chipset, a long-lasting battery, and Supercharge fast charging.
2. Redmi Note 7/ Redmi Note 7 Pro
The poster boys for the 48-Megapixel camera trend are undoubtedly Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro that drag down the camera resolution to a very accessible price bracket.
Xiaomi has already started teasing the 48MP camera phones in India, and the official launch is expected very soon. The Redmi Note 7, which uses the Samsung GM1 sensor, has a glass finish body, a USB Type-C port, and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 octa-core chipset. The Redmi Note 7 Pro packs Sony’s IMX586 sensor is reportedly powered by more powerful Snapdragon 675 chipset.
3. Vivo V15 Pro
Vivo will launch its V15 Pro and V15 in India on February 20 and has let on early the presence of a 48MP rear camera. The plentiful teasers of the upcoming V15 Pro reveal triple rear cameras, a 32 MP pop-up camera and a textured glass back panel.
Going by other rumors, the Vivo V15 Pro, is likely to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core chipset and house a 3500mAh battery.
4. Huawei Nova 4
Huawei Nova 4 is similar to Honor View 20 in more than one ways, but it also has its fair share of differences. This is yet another phone from Huawei to brandish triple-rear cameras, the primary sensor of which has a 48MP resolution.
The handset also includes a 25MP in-display selfie camera and a 3750mAh battery. Of course, it’s powered by last generation Kirin 970 10nm chipset and isn’t likely to make it to India ever.
5. Oppo F11 Pro
Well, Oppo and Vivo are two siblings known to battle for the same trends. And just like Vivo, Oppo has confirmed that it will soon launch a 48MP camera phone, the Oppo F11 Pro, in India.
A new press release announcing the imminent arrival of F11 Pro also mentions a ‘Super Night Mode’ that’s fired by AI Engine and Ultra-clear engine.
Also Read: Samsung Galaxy M20 Review – The Heat Is On!
5 Best Phones with 48MP Camera you can buy in 2019
These are the phones available with 48MP cameras as of now. Very soon phones like Motorola P40 and Xiaomi Mi 9 are expected to join the fray. We will keep you updated with more options as they surface.