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Should more manufacturers follow Samsung with lower resolution cameras but larger pixels and lens?

Should more manufacturers follow Samsung with lower resolution cameras but larger pixels and lens?
For years now, Android manufacturers have been embroiled in a game of numbers. With so many competitors, each consecutive upgrade had to bring more to the table. So a bigger screen with more pixels in it. A larger battery with more capacity. A quicker processor with more cores, and more RAM to handle your day-to-day task. And the camera... oh, the camera! More megapixels or get out.

With the above in mind, it was kind of shocking to see Samsung—the de facto master of the numbers game—betray that tradition. Indeed, with the Galaxy S7, the camera lost resolution, not gain. So instead of the 16-megapixel of its predecessor, we now have a 12-megapixel unit on imaging duty with the new flagship. And while that's surprising, it actually makes a whole lot of sense in theory. Fewer pixels means larger pixels given an identical camera sensor size, and on paper, that ought to yield better light sensitivity. Better light sensitivity means better low light photography and better overall color accuracy, at least in general. 

Samsung didn't stop there, though, and also used extremely wide, f/1.7 lens—the largest in the industry by far. That should further help with low light photography, and we're definitely curious to see how the new setup holds up against the competition once the lights go out. Until we get around to staging that comparison, however, we're left with just the theory of it all, and we're curious to hear your take on the transition. So what do you say, is it solid thinking on Samsung's part? Moreover, should other manufacturers follow?

Phonearena polls
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Should more manufacturers follow Samsung with lower resolution cameras but larger pixels and lens?
68.81%
1222 votes
(1222 votes) It's the right way forward, others should follow
11.88%
211 votes
(211 votes) It's the wrong way forward, others shouldn't follow
19.31%
343 votes
(343 votes) I'm not sure

1776 votes

102 Comments
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posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:14 6

1. NoToFanboys (Posts: 1952; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Why yes, they should perfect the camera's per pixel quality before increasing the number of megapixels

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:18 25

4. T-rex (unregistered)


OR.......they should increase the number of pixels AND increase per pixel quality

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:38 28

16. Rafishant (Posts: 280; Member since: 13 Oct 2015)


Why not increasing both just like what Nokia did??
We truly miss Nokia in the camera phone field.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 07:36 13

31. Aploine (Posts: 437; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Because it's the company's propaganda.
Where do you think those billions for ads and pr go?
"You don't need more. You just need what I'm giving you.
In the price that I'm giving it. Next year if I change my mind
you 'll need something else. What I 'll give you"
Where-is-the-lossless-zoom?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:08 5

32. neops (Posts: 297; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


I'm not a fan of apple and do not want to defend it, but all these years
has been criticized for low-resolution cameras.

And suddenly low resolution of the camera is a ok. With 2k screen.
And the night photos that I saw in gsmarena's comparison are not even
brighter than g5's. (ok they are a bit sharper)
They did the same thing for the removable battery calling "wallhagers"

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:12

33. Aploine (Posts: 437; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Me neither

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 21:03

87. k4ever (Posts: 204; Member since: 08 Oct 2014)


Apple's camera resolution was too low. They needed to increase it in order to have the ability to record video in 4k.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 21:31

89. Hypergy (Posts: 54; Member since: 24 Feb 2016)


What a fuggin moot point. It's not suddenly lower resolution cameras are okay. Samsung with it's higher resolution and smaller pixels, for the longest time had better image quality than the iphone.

Apple has been criticized for having SUB PAR Camera / Image Quality that is not with the times apart from their pixel size. Today, Samsung has a GOOD larger pixel sensor unlike apples crappy one that didn't win photo quality contests with professional tests by dxomark.

If your brain didn't get that, It's not suddenly lower resolution cameras are okay, lower or higher pixels were always OKAY if you could back it up with good photos.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 17:50

83. burekbrigada (Posts: 19; Member since: 19 Dec 2014)


Nokia didn't increase both. In 40 mpx mode quality (per pixel) is terrible. My wife had Nokia 808 so I know that first hand :-) In 5mpx mode camera was FANTASTIC.
And you can't increase both MP count and pixel size: simple geometry, even Nokia 808 and 1020 have pretty small sensors, there is simple no room for bigger silicon.
You can increase other per pixel attributes, though. Which manufactures are doing. But, at the end of day, bigger pixel, within same technological level, is always superior to smaller pixel

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 00:39

90. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


I have nokia 808 and its pictures are great in 2mp and 5mp pureview mode... details are well preserved and noise is very very low but 38mp shots are useless because these are rediculously large in file size... I hope nokia will come back and will make an android pureview phone

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 07:19 2

27. TerryTerius (Posts: 1926; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Without gigantic amounts of storage, I'm not sure how feasible that is.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 20:22 1

85. MrElectrifyer (Posts: 3310; Member since: 21 Oct 2014)


That's more than feasible with a MicroSD card...

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 07:29 9

30. HugoBarraCyanogenmod (Posts: 1225; Member since: 06 Jul 2014)


Lower resolution camera on a 2k display, Samsung apologists on the rise once again.

Bashing non 2k display phone yet saying low resolution is enough. Sick of these double standard comments.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:43 17

42. FrenchGuy (Posts: 117; Member since: 12 Dec 2014)


Are you a troll? A QHD display is a 3.7 million pixels screen. It will be studpid if Samsung launches a less than 3.7 Mpix sensor.
Sick of these stupid comments.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:52

58. bur60 (Posts: 853; Member since: 07 Jul 2014)


This. PA saying Samsung went with larger pixels and lens..... yea the pixels got bigger because they dropped a few, but the lens isn't really big. It's pretty normal (z3 had 1/2.3 and Nokia 1080 had even way bigger)

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:51 1

44. etron (Posts: 15; Member since: 12 Sep 2014)


I believe HTC tried the 4mp ultra pixel cam not to long ago it wasn't as good but seems as if others r now trying the same tactic

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:27 4

50. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 1175; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


Why is it following Samsung......... Wasn't the nexus 6p the 1st successful android low resolution camera that actually worked

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:44 3

55. Loveneesh (Posts: 201; Member since: 14 Jul 2015)


what the hell! It was HTC with lower resolution cameras but larger pixels and lens.
samsung is following htc(ultrapixle).

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 11:34 1

66. Shocky (unregistered)


No, HTC get the balance wrong, 4MP was too low, 12MP is just fine though.

The dual pixel technology is making the biggest difference for the Galaxy S7 imo, the focus speeds are insane, even low light doesn't really effect it any more.

Others should copy this as well.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:47

56. zeeBomb (Posts: 2139; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Go for it...or at least start with dual cameras with one good one wide

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 10:03

60. amats69 (Posts: 1466; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


LOL Samsung didnt pioneered this tech on phone camera..they just copy and polished it..i remembered how samsung fanboys bash htc ultrapixel before...and then look at them now....read all their comments, praising the bigger pixels which is the same concept as ultrapixel. they even suggest htc to stop the ultrapixel tech on their phones..but look at the votes on this poll...LOL

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 11:55 1

70. j2001m (Posts: 2977; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


I think you find its the dual pixel technology they pioneered,and that what doing the damage

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 12:41

74. amats69 (Posts: 1466; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


"Should more manufacturers follow Samsung with lower resolution cameras but larger pixels and lens?"

Try to understand the Title of this article..then come back to me.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:16 3

2. Arschsalat (banned) (Posts: 158; Member since: 29 Feb 2016)


We need Night Vision =)

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 12:54

75. Tomgabriele (Posts: 27; Member since: 25 Feb 2016)


How about that Caterpillar phone with FLIR?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:18 9

3. Xperia14 (Posts: 525; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


The Nexus 6P has a better camera than the S7 imo. The S7's night shots are a bit on the cooler and softer side:http://forum.xda-developers.com/s7-edge/how-to/samsung-s7e-vs-nexus-6p-camera-test-t3322383

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:22 20

7. Arschsalat (banned) (Posts: 158; Member since: 29 Feb 2016)


s7 is looks better

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:28 1

12. Xperia14 (Posts: 525; Member since: 01 Sep 2015)


Both awesome cameras as they're close but I think the Nexus has more natural looking photos and less agressive post-processing.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 07:05 18

23. ph00ny (Posts: 1265; Member since: 26 May 2011)


How do you know which looks more natural without actually seeing the scene in person?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:37 1

54. AllFanboysMatter (Posts: 143; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


This actually isn't difficult to tell without seeing the scene in person....

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