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 (opens in new tab) on Twitter, via Android Authority (opens in new tab)), 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 (opens in new tab).
April: world first 1" mobile camera sensor IMX800 pic.twitter.com/t88QqmancnFebruary 24, 2021
Of course, Sony has plenty of experience in supplying imaging sensors, with many of the best cameras (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.