Smartphone cameras are getting ridiculously large in terms of megapixel count, far surpassing the imaging sensors you’d find even on professional digital cameras. “More” doesn’t always mean better, as some phone manufacturers have proven over the years, but that hasn’t stopped them from still putting out mobile cameras with triple-digit megapixel counts. Samsung and Xiaomi have even been rumored to be working on a 200MP ISOCELL sensor that might not be used in Samsung’s own Galaxy S22 next year.
Given that Samsung already has a 108MP ISOCEL HM3 in the Galaxy S21, it’s not exactly a huge jump in expectation for it to try its hand at a 200MP upgrade. Of course, that’s easier said than done, given the engineering and manufacturing hurdles such a sensor would entail. Still, both Samsung and Xiaomi have done that dance before with the ISOCELL Bright HMX, the first sensor to go beyond 100MP.
The two are reportedly working together again for that 200MP camera, but Samsung fans might not want to get their hopes up just yet. According to Ice universe on Weibo, it is almost 100% certain that the Galaxy S22 next year won’t use that component. Instead, it will be sticking to the third-gen ISOCELL HM3, albeit a “polished” version.
On the one hand, that might sound disappointing for those hoping to see the latest and greatest technologies in Samsung’s flagship line. On the other hand, it also means that Samsung is prioritizing the quality of its cameras over sensational specs and headlines. Given how it has been outclassed by Huawei, Xiaomi, OPPO, Vivo, and Apple on DxOMark, it does seem that some polishing is in order.
As for that rumored 200MP sensor, it might still appear later this year. It might, however, debut first on a Xiaomi flagship phone, just like with the ISOCELL Bright HMX, allowing Samsung to let its partner first test the waters before jumping in.