Do We Really Need A 200MP Camera On Smartphones?


2022 might be the year of 200MP camera smartphones. Most Chinese brands will start advertising their upcoming flagship smartphones to be better real-life cameras than some DSLRs and point & shoot cameras. In reality, we know for a fact that even the best camera smartphone in the world cannot match the picture/video quality of a five-year old DSLR, let alone match the details, clarity, color accuracy, and various other photography parameters.

Do We Really Need A 200MP Camera On Smartphones?

Yet, the sound of '200MP camera smartphone' seems exciting enough to pique one's curiosity about the said product. It seems Motorola will be the first smartphone manufacturer to use the tagline. As per known tipster Ice Universe, the Lenovo-owned brand will be the first to make use of the mighty 200MP smartphone camera sensor by Samsung.

The recently unveiled ISOCELL HP1 sensor consists of 0.64μm-sized pixels and uses a new Chameleon Cell pixel-binning technology, which either uses two-by-two or four-by-four or even a full pixel layout to capture sharper images. Since the gigantic sensor merges 16 neighboring pixels into a single pixel to create an effective resolution of 12.5MP with 2.56μm-sized pixels, the rumored Motorola handset could excel at low-light photography.

Do We Really Need A 200MP Camera On Smartphones?

The new sensor uses Samsung's new 4x4 hybrid pixel-binning technology, which allows it to adjust its pixel layout to suit the shooting environment. It can also boost any smartphone's video recording capabilities as the sensor is capable of shooting native 8K videos (7,680 x 4,320p) without any sensor cropping and 4K slow-motion clips at 120fps.

Interestingly, Samsung will not be the first brand to launch a smartphone with the in-house 200MP sensor. After Motorola, a Xiaomi branded phone could feature the big sensor in the second, half of 2022 followed by Samsung in early 2023. It seems the Korean tech giant wants other brands to do the test before it introduces its 2023's flagship Galaxy smartphones.

All of this sounds pretty exciting but do we need a gigantic 200MP sensor strapped at the back of a smartphone? In my experience of testing camera-centric smartphones, even a 100MP sensor fell short of qualifying as a good overall camera. Most big smartphone camera sensors lack the finesse of good optics and struggle to deliver likeable results.


And let's just not talk about the far-field zoom capabilities because the digital zoom shots are barely usable after 10x or max 15x. The 100/120x zoom capability of such big sensors is hilariously bad and nothing but mere marketing taglines.

Instead of increasing the megapixel count, brands should improve the basics of smartphone sensors such as color science, autofocus speeds, sensitivity to light, texture retaining, and video stabilization. We only see such developments happening on Google Pixel-series handsets, Apple iPhones and Vivo X-series flagship devices to a good extent.

Let's just hope Motorola makes some fine adjustments to Samsung's 200MP camera sensor before introducing its flagship handset to the world. The smartphone could raise some eyeballs with its 200MP sensor but it will be the real-life camera performance that should make the difference. Notably, the software will play a major role in getting the results right for such as a massive sensor. We can't wait to test the mega sensor in action.

Images- Samsung

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