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 count. (हिंदी में पढ़िए)

This year 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.

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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 the 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 substantiates 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 a 48MP camera sensor that you can buy in 2019

1. OnePlus 7 Pro/ OnePlus 7T/ OnePlus 7

OnePlus has upped its ante this year with the OnePlus 7 Pro (review) and the standard variant (review), with their 48MP camera as one among the high-end spec list. The pro variant which is the defacto attraction of the two also carries an 8MP 3x Zoom telephoto sensor and a 16MP 117° ultra-wide sensor. The front camera is also a 16MP sensor sitting within a pop-up module.

Upfront, you get a 6.67-inch 3120x1440p curved Fluid AMOLED panel that has 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90Hz refresh rate. This has an embedded in-display fingerprint scanner too. Under this display, runs a Snapdragon 855 chipset coupled with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB UFS 3.0 based built-in storage.

2. Asus 6Z or Zenfone 6

The interesting aspect of the Asus 6Z (review) camera is that it sits within a rotating flip-up module. This means you get a 48MP main plus 13MP wide-angle camera duo for both front and back. The face has a 6.4-inch full HD+ IPS LCD display with a Gorilla Glass 6 protection.

Within the phone, you get a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip backed by a 6GB or 8GB RAM and 64GB, 128GB or 256GB UFS 2.1 storage. On the surface, ZenUI 6 skinned Android 9 Pie provides a stock-ish software experience. The phone is fueled by a 5000mAH battery that comes with 18W Quick Charge 4.0 charger.

3. Redmi K20 and Redmi K20 Pro

Xiaomi Redmi K20 series is also a part of 48MP primary rear camera phones lineup. Though there is a slight difference in sensors of both these phones. The Redmi K20 Pro gets a Sony IMX586 sensor, while regular K20 has Sony IMX 582 sensor at the helm.

It is worth mentioning that both these sensors take similar photos, the difference is in video quality.  The IMX 582 record up to 4K at 30fps whereas the IMX 586 can shoot 4K video at 60fps.

Both phones are no mug in performance as they are powered by Snapdragon 730 and Snapdragon 855 SoCs respectively. Both phones are backed by a 4000mAh battery and runs on Android Pie based MIUI 10.

4. OPPO Reno2

OPPO Reno series is known for capturing camera and design trends early on. The Reno 2 places four cameras under the rear glass – a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, a 13MP sensor with 2x Zoom lens, an 8MP wide-angle lens, and 2MP depth sensor. And the slick shark-fin side-lifting pop-up houses the 16MP front camera.

The front slab is a 6.5-inch panoramic Full HD+ (2400 × 1080 pixels) resolution screen with 20:9 aspect ratio. Underneath, you’ll get an Octa-Core Snapdragon 730G chipset with up to 8GB RAM variant with 256GB (UFS 2.1) storage. The battery size is 4000mAh battery and supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging.

5. Realme X

Realme also joined the 48MP camera brigade with its new ‘X’ moniker phone. Sony’s 48MP  IMX 586 sensor is at the helm of thing rear camera photography. The secondary camera in the dual-cam setup is a 5 MP depth sensor which adds value portrait shots. For selfies, it has a 16MP pop-up camera that jumps up every time you switch to the front camera.

Despite continues negative marketing of Snapdragon 710 by Xiaomi, Oppo’s spin-off continues to entrust to feature at the heart of Realme X. The phone also boasts off AMOLED screen and in-display fingerprint sensor.

6. Realme 5 Pro

Realme 5 Pro was the first “quad-camera” phone from Realme and it carries a gamer-centric focus. The handset is powered by Snapdragon 712 octa-core chipset paired with up to 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and up to 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

Apart from the 48MP Sony IMX586, you will find an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor on the rear. The 5 Pro has 4035mAh battery and supports VOOC 3.0 fast charging.

7. Lenovo Z6 Pro

Lenovo branded phones are back in action and the Z6 Pro is the one that leads the pack. The list of features include AMOLED display, in-display fingerprint sensor, and a 48MP Sony IMX586 led quad-camera system.

The Lenovo Z6 Pro houses a 4000mAh battery with 27W fast charging and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 octa-core chipset.

8. Samsung Galaxy A80

Samsung places a 48MP sensor in the rotating module on the Galaxy A80. Samsung doesn’t use its own GM1 or GM2 but employs Sony’s IMX 586 sensor instead along with an 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle camera and ToF sensor.

The Galaxy A80 is driven by a Qualcomm’s gaming-centric chipset – Snapdragon 730G. The Galaxy A80 is offered with an 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It uses a 3,700mAh battery as a power source which supports 25W fast charging over Type-C.

9. Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro and Redmi Note 7S

The poster boys for the 48-Megapixel camera trend are undoubtedly Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro that drags down the camera resolution to a very accessible price bracket in India.

Redmi Note 7 India

Xiaomi has also introduced the Redmi Note 7 Pro (review) in India which packs 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor and powered by more powerful Snapdragon 675 chipset. The Redmi Note 7 Pro comes with a glass finish body, a USB Type-C port, and 4000mAh battery.

Following up on the Redmi Note 7 Pro success, Xioami also launched another 48MP camera phone in India – the Redmi Note 7S. It is worth pointing out that the new phone is nothing but a rebranded version of what Xiaomi sells as Redmi Note 7 in China. The Redmi Note 7S comes with Samsung GM1 sensor and Snapdragon 660 chipset.

10. Vivo V15 Pro

Vivo launched its V15 Pro (review) 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 32MP pop-up camera, and a textured glass back panel.

The Vivo V15 Pro rocks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 octa-core chipset and fueled by a 3500mAh battery.

11. Oppo F11 Pro and Oppo F11

The Oppo F11 Pro (review) and Oppo F11 both feature a 48MP rear camera, a pop-up selfie camera, and third-generation VOOC fast charging. Oppo also advertises a super night mode to enhance nighttime photography.

Both phones are powered by MediaTek Helio P70 octa-core chipset and only differ with respect to their RAM and Storage. A few other highlights include gradient finish on the back panel, waterdrop notch at the front, and Android Pie based Color OS 6 software.

12. Black Shark 2

Gaming phones are known for their powerful hardware and bells and whistles to spruce your gaming experience. Black Shark 2 (review) has those and more. It has a 48MP primary camera in the arsenal, accompanied by a 12MP telephoto lens. The front flaunts a 20MP selfie shooter.

Now coming to the crux of the phone, we have a Snapdragon 855 chip aided by upto 12GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and fuel from 4000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support. On top of these, you also get Ludicrous mode, liquid cooling system, Stereo front-facing speakers to augment the gaming experience.

13. Nubia Red Magic 3

Nubia Red Magic 3 is yet another gaming phone that is also equipped with a 48MP camera. To the front, you get a 16MP selfie snapper. Rest, it is crammed with high-end specs like Snapdragon 855 chipset, up to 12GB of RAM, 256GB of onboard storage and 5000mAh battery with a 27W fast charger.

Nubai Red Magic 3 India

It also brings gaming-centric features such as special vibrations and controller options, Heat dissipation by a second-generation ICE liquid cooling and an actual fan,
Stereo speakers and customizable RGB light strip.

14. Honor 20 Pro/ Honor 20

Honor 20 Pro and the standard variant are high-functioning phones with the 48MP high-res camera prowess. Honor 20 Pro’s quad-camera panel includes a 16MP wide-angle lens, accompanied by an 8MP telephoto sensor and finally a 2MP macro snapper. In case of the standard variant, you get 2MP depth sensor instead of the telephoto lens. Both are equipped with a 32MP sensor at the front.

Honor 20

Besides the cameras, both are driven by Kirin 980 SoC. The biggie bears a 4000mAh battery with 22.5W fast charging support, 256GB storage and 8GB of RAM. Honor 20 trims down to a 3750mAh battery, 22.5W fast charging, 128GB onboard storage and 6GB of RAM.

15. Xiaomi Mi A3

Xiaomi’s third-generation Android One phone, Mi A3, offers Sony IMX586 48MP sensor for a very affordable starting price of Rs. 12,999.

The handset is powered by Snapdragon 665 octa-core chipset, has a glass body, a 4000mAh battery and will be among the front runners to get Android 10 update. The handset has an AMOLED display, but the resolution is a paltry HD+ only.

15 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 Huawei Nova 5 Pro, Nova 5, Realme X, Samsung Galaxy A80 and Xiaomi Mi 9 are expected to join the fray in India. We will keep you updated with more options as they surface.

Top 15 48MP camera phones to buy in 2019 

Phone Price
OnePlus 7 Pro / OnePlus 7 ₹48,999 / ₹32,999
Asus Zenfone 6 ₹36,999
Xiaomi Redmi K20 Pro / Redmi K20 ₹27,999 / ₹21,999
OPPO Reno2 ₹36,990
Realme X ₹16,999
Real 5 Pro ₹16,999
Lenovo z6 pro ₹29,999*
Samsung Galaxy A80 ₹47,990
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro / Redmi Note 7S ₹13,999 / ₹10,260
Vivo V15 Pro ₹23,290
OPPO F11 Pro / Oppo F11 ₹20,990 / ₹17,990
Black Shark 2 Rs. 41,052
Nubia Red Magic 3 Rs. 35,999
Honor 20 Pro / Honor 20 Rs. 39,999
Xiaomi Mi A3 Rs. 12,999

4 COMMENTS

  1. Lack of dual pixel focussing is a major setback on this 48mp sensor, it’s a just mp hype, it is slow to focus, it will 90 percent of the times won’t focus properly in macro shots ( not flower shots, actual macros like insects), laser focusing is a joke on smart phones

  2. If you want to test then test a imx363 with a panning shot with imx586 see how much slow it is to focus, it’s almost impossible to capture a proper panning shot.

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