Samsung today announced the world’s first 108Mp smartphone camera sensor. Dubbed the Bright HMX, the ISOCELL sensor is 1/1.33-inch large which allows it to absorb more light in low-light scenarios.
The individual pixel size on the Bright HMX is 0.8um which is similar to other high-resolution sensors from Samsung and Sony including the famous Sony IMX586 sensor. In low-light scenarios, the sensor outputs 27Mp images and uses pixel-binning technology to produce brighter photos.
The HMX sensor is also capable of recording videos in up to 6K resolution at 30fps without any change in FoV. Remember that the sensor also needs to be paired to an ISP that is capable of supporting video recording greater than 4K resolution.
“For ISOCELL Bright HMX, Xiaomi and Samsung have worked closely together from the early conceptual stage to production that has resulted in a groundbreaking 108Mp image sensor. We are very pleased that picture resolutions previously available only in a few top-tier DSLR cameras can now be designed into smartphones,” said Lin Bin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi. “As we continue our partnership, we anticipate bringing not only new mobile camera experiences but also a platform through which our users can create unique content.”
Samsung has worked closely with Xiaomi on the ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor. The sensor will go into mass production later this month, and it will likely show up first in a Xiaomi smartphone.
We have already seen the 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor being used widely across a range of mid-range and premium smartphones this year. Many Chinese brands are now expected to launch smartphones with a 64MP camera later this year. Samsung is hoping to one-up them with its own 108Mp sensor.
It is important to note that these high-resolution sensors don’t automatically translate into better image quality. While these sensors will offer better dynamic range due to their larger size, their low-light performance is going to be an Achilles heel due to the small individual pixel size.