Samsung pushes new frontiers with 200-megapixel phone camera sensor

Samsung announces two new smartphone camera sensors

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Samsung is pushing the envelope of possibility through its mobile camera technology, with news that it’s releasing a jaw-dropping 200-megapixel image sensor to be used in its smartphone cameras.

The company has just announced its new Isocell HP1 sensor, making it the industry’s first 200MP resolution sensor – and sure to turn a few heads from rivals looking to lead the market ahead of flagship phone season.

In brightly lit settings, the Isocell HP1 can choose to use all 200MP as individual 0.64 micron pixels. Or, in other words, the HP1 sensor has 0.64μm pixels and can bin 16 of them at once for "the equivalent of a 12.5-megapixel sensor with 2.56μm pixels." If you're thinking that this isn't the largest of individual pixel sizes we’ve seen on select examples of the best Android phones and best iPhone cameras, then you'd be right in saying so.

Samsung leverages what it calls its new 'ChameleonCell' pixel-binning technology, which, as above, enables the camera sensor to bundle four or 16 pixels into one unified, larger pixel. This newly formed 2.56μm pixel is capable of more light absorption and sensitivity, producing brighter and clearer photos indoors or in the evening. What's more: in bright outdoor environments, the sensor’s 200-million pixels can capture ultra-high-definition photography on mobile devices, according to Samsung's official statement. 

As reports Android Authority, these two configurations “effectively turn Isocell HP1 into a 50MP sensor with 1.28 micron pixels or a 12.5MP sensor with 2.56 micron pixels.” Samsung notes that the latter configuration boosts light absorption and sensitivity for improved low-light shooting.

Sensor finesse

Besides this, Samsung is also set to launch a new sensor called the ISOCELL GN5. Reports suggest that the ISOCELL GN5 has a 50MP resolution, in comparison to the 200MP resolution of the ISOCELL HP1. This has stirred some intense speculation around possible upcoming announcements around the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, which is rumored to feature 50MP primary cameras.

If you can't wait for the launch of Samsung's new flagships, then you can check out our best Samsung phones for the best of what's currently available from the Korean firm. There's also a handy guide to the market's best budget buys through our best cheap phones rundown in case you're strapped for cash.

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.