Sony IMX 686 Vs Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1: Battle Of 64MP Smartphone Cameras


In 2019, 48MP cameras were seen on entry-level, mid-tier, and high-end smartphones. It looks like the year 2020 is going to be all about 64MP camera smartphones. Samsung is the first brand to announce a true 64MP camera sensor -- the ISOCELL GW1 and Sony recently joined the league with its IMX 686 sensor.

Sony IMX 686 Vs Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1


Both of these sensors offer a native resolution of 9248 x 6944 pixels and are capable of capturing images with up to 64million pixels. On paper, both sensors seem identical. However, technically, there are a lot of minor differences that set them apart.

Samsung ISOCELL GW1 Details

The Samsung ISOCELL GW1 is also called the S5KGW1 and it is already available on phones like the Redmi Note 8 Pro and the Realme XT. This is a 1/1.72-inch sensor with a maximum frame rate of 21fps at its full resolution.

It uses MIPI 4 Lane RAW interface and Tetracell technology to merge four pixels into one to improve the low-light sensitivity. It comes with a 0.8um pixel size and with the Tetracell tech, it converts into a 1.6um pixel that can take more light, resulting in greater looking pictures.

Sony IMX686

Coming to the Sony IMX686 sensor, it can also offer a native resolution of 9248 x 6944 pixels and also uses pixel binning technology to combine four pixels into one to improve low-light photography.

The Sony IMX686 is a slightly larger sensor at a 1/1.7-inch size, with bigger pixels that let in more light. And it also offers an overall pixel size of 1.6um, which is identical to the Samsung ISOCELL GW1 sensor. And the Redmi K30 is one of the first smartphones to incorporate this sensor.

Our Inference

Due to the bigger sensor size, the Sony IMX686 is likely to take better pictures compared to Samsung's counterpart. However, smartphone photography is not just about physical sensor size as parameters like ISP (image signal processor) and software optimization also plays a huge role in determining a camera capability of a smartphone.

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