The biggest improvements in photography on mid-range phones in 2019 were centered around the use of quad-pixel sensors that boast of 48MP resolution. Sony’s IMX586 won the first round and was the preferred choice over Samsung’s GM1 and GM2 (that came in much later), even for Samsung’s own mid-range phones.
Samsung doesn’t want to miss out on the second round and is already actively pushing its 64MP GW1 sensor. In fact, it’s 108MP sensor is already in the pipeline. High camera resolutions are naturally very easy to market, which is why manufacturers and marketers are zealously taking to these high megapixel counts to distinguish their products.
Before we get to the list of phones with a 64MP sensor, let’s first understand the underlying technology that goes in these Quad Pixel sensors.
Also Check: Best 48MP camera phones to buy
Are 64MP Quad-Pixel sensors different than 48MP quad-pixel sensors?
The underlying technology and operating principle for 64MP and 48MP camera sensors are exactly the same. Going by the marketing talk, the quad-pixel sensors combine 4 pixels resulting in one big pixel that can effectively gather more light, thus resulting in better details and better dynamic range.
That’s not entirely wrong, but not exactly how things work in practice.
The individual pixel-size is reduced to 0.8μm and four of these are clubbed under one pixel of overlaying Bayer’s filter (resulting in one 1.6μm effective pixel). The overall size of the sensor is still significantly bigger than a usual 12MP or 16MP sensor, and that’s a good thing. For instance, Samsung’s 64MP GW1 sensor is 33% larger than the current 48MP sensors.
As our experience with 48MP sensors has corroborated, these sensors haven’t been designed for use at full resolution and the 64MP sensors will yield best results at 16MP resolution. The improvement in image quality of midrange phones using such sensors is primarily because of the software smartly using these theoretical sub-pixels.
In daylight, the software can group the four subpixels in two and shoot an image at different exposures from both halves and combine the capture into one image with better dynamic range (similar to how HDR works).
Some other Samsung 64MP GW1 sensor features include dual conversion gain (DCG) that allows the sensor to adjust the light intake in a bright environment, high-performance Phase detection Autofocus, and Full HD videos capture at 480fps (so, FHD 960fps slow-motion videos will still be software trickery).
List of phones with 64MP Camera
1. Realme XT
Realme XT flaunts a 64MP quad-camera on the rear and is powered by Snapdragon 712 octa-core processor paired with up to 8GB RAM and up to 128GB storage.
2. Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro flaunts a 64MP sensor as part of the rear camera quartet. The Redmi Note 8 Pro has a 6.53-inch IPS LCD display and is powered by MediaTek’s game-centric Helio G90T chipset.
Other than the Samsung GW2 sensor, the Redmi Note 8 Pro has an 8MP wide-angle camera, a 2MP macro camera, a 2MP depth sensor and a 20MP selfie camera housed on the front. The Redmi Note 8 Pro runs Android Pie based MIUI 10 software and houses a massive 4500mAh battery. This time, Xiaomi will add an 18W fast charger in the box.
3. Samsung A70s
Samsung too will be using its own GW1 sensor on an upgraded Galaxy A70 variant. The Galaxy A70s recently received Bluetooth certification that confirmed dual-band Wi-Fi and support for 802.11ac standard.
The handset is expected to be powered by Snapdragon 675 and is rumored to include 64MP sensor as part of the triple rear cameras. Details are still scarce though.
Best 64MP Camera Phones To Buy In 2019
Since Samsung has a monopoly over 64MP sensors, all 64MP camera phones currently employ the same sensor. We expect many more 64MP camera phones to be on their way and we will add them to the list as they surface.