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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: 1197; 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 (Posts: 151; Member since: 22 May 2013)


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

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:38 28

16. Rafishant (Posts: 216; 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: 426; 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: 285; 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: 426; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Me neither

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 21:03

87. k4ever (Posts: 156; 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: 1583; 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: 2283; 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: 1034; 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: 104; 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: 838; 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: 1075; 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: 149; 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: 1834; 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: 1383; 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: 2826; 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: 1383; 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: 374; 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: 374; 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: 1193; 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: 57; Member since: 14 Feb 2016)


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

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 13:01 1

77. ph00ny (Posts: 1193; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Hey now, he's talking about color temp not focus, detail, etc

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:36 1

39. Mrmark (Posts: 268; Member since: 26 Jan 2013)


I agree

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 03:56

93. chenski (Posts: 360; Member since: 22 Mar 2015)


I remember reading somewhere that you need to look at thr photos on a pc monitor to determine which one is actually better

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:55 1

21. kenfold (Posts: 16; Member since: 06 Mar 2016)


Lol, Such stupid post from XDA Forum, biased and dumb ass site. Check out camera expert site- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+, Sony, and Galaxy Note 5 gets Top ranking (camera) on DxOMark. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Note 5 has better cameras than the 6P. The 6P - No Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) for the camera.

Checkout - dxomark.com/Mobiles

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 03:59

94. chenski (Posts: 360; Member since: 22 Mar 2015)


Dxomark isnt really the best camera reviewer either though

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 07:10 1

25. combatmedic870 (Posts: 561; Member since: 02 Sep 2015)


The 6p was in multi hdr mode.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:30 1

37. ruben_2s (Posts: 9; Member since: 10 Jun 2015)


You clearly don't know what you're talking about

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:51

57. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1171; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)


I just saw the pics on that link you provided, The daylight photo was pretty much equal but we dont know what the actual colour is in real life. The night shots how ever, S7 provides much brighter photos and sharper which what most people want, the 6P is just too dark. Still both phones have good cameras.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:19 2

5. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2193; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Nope, all the best cameras have mp counts in the 20s, smartphone manufacturers should strive to be more like the best. I think 16mp was the perfect mp count to advance upon for smartphones, kudos to LG for sticking with it.

All around the G5 might be better than the S7 it's just ugly.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:47 1

18. xondk (Posts: 1232; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


dunno, I don't think mega pixel is all there is to it, we will have to see, but yeah on paper the sensor in G5 is huge. But I do hope it works out for LG so we can get more competitors on the market, and LG has always had a good focus on camera, its the rest that has been a bit 'meh' in my experience. If they can get over that and get traction, I personally welcome the competitor.
That said 12 mp is not bad will still take great pictures still, especially with the new auto focusing which seems near instant, even laser focus can have trouble at times.
Though I still wish all of them would work on battery tech, to get even more power into them.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 07:26

28. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2193; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Mp isn't all there is to it, there's the sensor size, pixel size, the software, and various other things.

12mp isn't bad, infact it takes great pictures (I own an iPhone 6sp) so i'm not complaining. I just think, that advancing on 12mp camera tech was the wrong move.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 12:57

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


I am confused on what you want manufacturers to do? In your first reply, you commend LG for using a 16mp sensor, but then you admit here that there is more to picture quality than number of pixels.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 21:04

88. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2193; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Don't get me wrong there is more to it but MP count and size are the main factors. Sammy should have increased the pixel and sensor size of their 16mp camera instead of doing those things to a 12mp one.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 15:28

81. geordie8t1 (Posts: 38; Member since: 16 Nov 2015)


Megapixels have NOTHING to do with the camera image quality at all UNLESS you are going to print off the photos for example..... a 14x11inch printed photo only requires an average 7-8mp camera, what people think is when a new phone comes out with 12, 16, 20, 23MP etc new sensor and it displays brilliant new shots it has everything to do with because its mp count has increased, this is NOT the case, its because of the sensor, the lens, the software and the calibration have all been improved to produce a better camera module which usually in turn relates to a mp increase as well giving the impression that its the MP doing all the work, if samsung produced this software on an 8mp camera the results would have still been as good, but given the way HTC flopped with their 4mp ultrapixel marketing and the average persons belief that higher numbers constitute better camera it would be silly to go lower

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 01:35

91. Nibbler1 (Posts: 30; Member since: 03 Apr 2015)


Do the homework, more megapixels is more detail, but other things do count, like lens and software, for video you don't need much megapixels, but for the photo you need, especially for cropping.This sensor in galaxy s7 is from sony and is not the biggest sensor for mobile phones, so if you have larger sensor with more megapixels that is definitely better than smaller sensor with les megapixels and larger pixels.I bet if they could get the 23 megapixel sensor from sony they would implement it in the s7.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:20 7

6. pupkin (Posts: 58; Member since: 04 Feb 2015)


iPhone is doing that for years. They even mock Apple for not joining the Megapixels count. That's a fact.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:36 23

14. xondk (Posts: 1232; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Except, not really, Apple is going for a smaller sensor size, with smaller pixels even as they stepped up to iphone 6s.
From their own site.
iPhone 6s
New 12-megapixel iSight camera with 1.22µ pixels
vs
iPhone 6
8-megapixel iSight camera with 1.5µ pixels

Now the aperture might compensate by allowing more light, but pixel size wise they aren't going in the direction you indicated.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:21

34. nodes (Posts: 681; Member since: 06 Mar 2014)


because they are forced to, so the camera could take 4K video recording.
that's why they didn't jump to 16MP despite 16MP is used by most flagships since 2014.
they didn't even bother to make it 13MP, to preserve pixel size.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:41 4

41. Guaire (Posts: 500; Member since: 15 Oct 2014)


With implementing a 1/2.3" sensor they could have a 12MP cam with even larger pixels than iPhone 6.

They aren't forced, they chose to retaining sensor size because that way is cheaper.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 08:48 1

43. BobbyBaster (banned) (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Mar 2016)


Exactly. Mocked Apple while they can and now copied Apple's 12 MP camera. Copycat's gonna copy.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:14 5

49. submar (Posts: 404; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Sony Ericsson Satio with 12MP camera was released on 2009.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 15:33 4

82. geordie8t1 (Posts: 38; Member since: 16 Nov 2015)


samsung have been releasing 12mp cameras since 2009, they were also the worlds FIRST to release the pixon 12 in 2009, sorry how are they copying just because they dropped to 12 from 16, apple INCREASED to 12 from 8,

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 09:31 2

51. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8811; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


How did they copy Apple's 12MP camera?

I could have sworn Samsung had a phone with similar size. Oh wait, they did. The Galaxy S4 had a 13MP camera which takes very good sharp photos and I would say would beat the latest iPhone in shots other than low light.

Gosh! Dude! How ignorant must you be?!

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 11:05 1

62. elitewolverine (Posts: 5111; Member since: 28 Oct 2013)


Are you seriously high in thinking the s3 beats iphones in shots?!

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 11:51 4

69. yoosufmuneer (Posts: 1498; Member since: 14 Feb 2015)


It would, in some scenarios. I compared a low light photo which was shot on the same location at the same time against my cousine's iPhone 6. My GS4 took better pictures at night mode

posted on 08 Mar 2016, 10:30

100. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8811; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


I didn't say S3, I said S4. And actually in area with good lighting condition, yes it would. Again Samsung camera stake sharper pictures. I would say yes it would stand up very well to the latest iPhone.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 11:43 2

67. Shocky (unregistered)


They waited until the technology was ready and boom, beat Apple with their first attempt. :)

The Galaxy S6/Note 5 camera was better than the iPhone 6s anyway.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:24 1

8. Chuck007 (Posts: 1052; Member since: 02 Mar 2014)


They should. That is, unless they reach the point where low-light shots can appear just as clear at higher res.

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:24 3

9. bucky (Posts: 2470; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


You mean follow Samsung following apple?

posted on 07 Mar 2016, 06:54 10

20. KRPT55 (Posts: 10; Member since: 28 Feb 2016)


The question was going lower resolution than bigger pixels which apple has never done
In fact they're doing the opposite. They want from 8 to 12 that's up not down and then their pixel size decreased from 6 to 6s. 6 was 1.4. 6s is 1.22

Try again

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