Is the next big step for camera phones almost here? 1 inch sensors coming soon!

(Image credit: Teme @RODENT950)

Over the past decade or so, camera phone quality has increased in leaps and bounds. We've seen camera phones with seemingly impossible megapixel counts, multiple rear cameras, 50x digital zoom and more. However, just when you think you've seen the peak of what camera phone technology can do, it appears the game might just be about to change all over again.

New reports are suggesting that Sony is about to release the first one inch sensor for camera phones. Entitled the Sony IMX700, this sensor is rumored to be included in the upcoming Huawei Mate P50 series.

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This new rumor comes from Teme (@RODENT950 on Twitter, via Android Authority), who is known for leaking details on upcoming Huawei products. Teme mentions that the Huawei Mate P50 series will include a large main camera (that will reportedly use the new one inch imaging sensor), an ultra-wide camera and a telephoto camera. Meanwhile, the higher end models will also include a periscope camera and a time-of-flight camera.

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Of course, Sony has plenty of experience in supplying imaging sensors, with many of the best cameras on the market using Sony sensors. A one inch sensor would definitely increase camera phone imaging technology as well. We would likely see new handsets using this sensor being capable of producing more realistic bokeh, having better low light capability and better overall image quality.

It won't be the first time a one inch sensor has been used in a phone. In 2014, Panasonic launched the Lumix DMC-CM1 - which was essentially a digital compact camera with an Android smartphone bolted on the back.

With Teme claiming that this new image sensor from Sony will be announced in April, it seems we still have a while before this rumor is confirmed. However, if this report does turn out to be accurate, then we'll certainly have an interesting few years ahead of us as camera phone manufacturers begin incorporating this technology into their handsets. 

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.