Moto X Style camera samples showcase the new Sony IMX 230 camera sensor's potential

Moto X Style camera samples showcase the new Sony IMX 230 camera sensor's potential
Last November, Sony announced its most promising camera sensor ever, the 21MP IMX230 chip. This is a stacked sensor in which Sony used plane phase detection autofocus in a phone sensor for the first time. The technology is lifted straight from mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lens, which is how the gap between smartphones and consumer-grade cameras keeps shrinking. That, and the addition of 192 AF points enables tracking and photographing fast moving objects.

Needless to say, we were rather intrigued by the progress in Sony's camera technology, as their camera sensors (and the crafty software engineers putting them to good use) have been the most formidable force in driving smartphone photography progress. But it did take a while before we had an opportunity to finally see the IMX230 sensor in action, as the component was fired into mass production no earlier than April this year. Just in time for Motorola to put it inside the new Moto X Style, it turns out!

The specs for the camera sensor remain the same as what was announced about 9 months ago - it's a 21MP resolution unit with 1.1 micron-sized pixels, 1/2.4 sensor size, Phase Detect Auto Focus, and HDR video recording (1080p and 4K resolution). There's a dual-LED flash on-board as well.

Lucky for everyone interested, Digital Photography Review snatched a Moto X Style and published a detailed analysis of its camera performance, complemented with a gallery of sample images. At a glance, things look great! In daylight situations, Moto's flagship smartphone captures an impressive amount of fine detail, without introducing undesirable processing such as oversharpening. The IMX230-equipped handset preserves colors that seem natural and properly exposed.

In night and general low-light scenarios, the Moto X Style's camera deals very well with white balance, despite light coming in from a variety of different sources. Even poorly lit scene elements retain a good amount of information, while brightly illuminated parts come off with plenty of detail.

The entire material is available in the source link below, and has certainly given us positive expectations of the Moto X Style and Sony's IMX230 camera sensor. As usual, we'll save the final judgement for our review of the handset.

source: Digital Photography Review

Related phones

Moto X Style
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 21 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh



1. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Sony sensors is one of the best in the market. Is the Software in Sony phones that screwed it up. Moto is going to the right path.

7. nahusiv

Posts: 100; Member since: Apr 20, 2015

THE best

11. kabiluddin

Posts: 276; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

They pretty much fixed the software with Z3+. Z3+ auto mode now takes great pic.

19. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Try camera FV-5 you be amazed.

15. surethom

Posts: 1685; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Agree its lick there compact cameras, fantastic hardware, but Sony is useless at the software side.

18. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Yeah i agree because i use Camera FV-5 app on my Sony Z1 and its take picture comparable to the G4 and S6 ( slower focus ofcourse but everything else is as good ) Its really the OEM camera software thats suck.

2. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

Pretty decent image quality. But why TFT LCD? At least give people an IPS if not the SuperAMOLED. And only 3000mAh for a gigantic 5.7" screen?

3. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

TFT LCD can be TN, VA or IPS matrix. They used IPS probably. Good VA can be better than IPS. VA got much better static constrast often, but IPS got better color reproduction. TN is the worst type of matrix. Sony in Z1 probably used TN or bad type VA matrix.

5. Hallyu

Posts: 790; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

They doesn't mention IPS in the spec sheet, so I guess it's still an regular LCD. Although the screen quality is great, I worry that it might be a battery drainer if it's not an IPS panel considering it only has 3000mAh.

9. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

There is no regular LCD. I am IT engineer and trust me :D If screen quality is good they used IPS or they wrote TFT LCD because they used good quality VA matrix and they are afraid that people will think that it's worse than IPS. Average IPS matrix got around 1000-1500:1 static contrast. 1 Eizo monitor with VA matrix got 5000:1 and it's probably not the highest contrast of VA matrix. My old (a lot of years) Eizo monitor got S-PVA matrix and got 3000:1 constrast if I am not wrong.

20. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Sony Z1 is TN but the screen look very good if you look straight at it its the viewing angle thats suffer ( and as i dont use it for media consuption its always straight to my face when i look at it so i dont mind ) They used IPS for the new Moto phone. IPS has a longer usable life than Amoled. Amoled after 1 year or even 6 months if you use it a lots you will see your color start to loose its quality. This is one of the reason why they use pentil often as its help to increase a bit the durability. An LCD screen will keep the same quality for years and years. I still have my old HTC Desire HD and the screen look identical to when i got it.

26. bodzio1809

Posts: 407; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

Maybe it doesn't look bad from front, but you can't compare it to average IPS or VA matrix. Anyway it should meet your expectations not mine :-) U gave too small numbers. I gave my SGS3 to my father and after more than 2 years everything is fine. It's about how you use it. Static images and high brightness are bad for Amoled displays. My SGS5 display after more than a year is fine. For me Amoled is future. Most people change phones every two years so they shouldn't notice any problems with displays.

31. ChunkDiesel072014

Posts: 39; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

5.7 isn't that big

4. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

Have to admit I am suprised by the 3000mah battery in an 11mm phone

6. deanylev

Posts: 234; Member since: Mar 11, 2014

I think it should've had 3600 like the Moto X Play

8. WallStreet

Posts: 256; Member since: Sep 21, 2014


17. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

From engineering stand point its a complete failure when a Note 4 which is same size but 2.5mm thinner has bigger battery,

21. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Depend on the actual battery life of the phone after real reviews. You would look really moronic if its would end up thats with a smaller battery and a LCD screen its has better battery life lol. Motorola battery life where always good dont forget they good at optimizing this.

23. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

Note 4 is evenly thick phone and moto x is more curvy on back, so we don't actually know about size.

24. thariq

Posts: 32; Member since: Jan 11, 2014

Xperia z3 is thinner than note4, just 7.3mm and packs 3100mAh battery.

29. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

We also have to remember that the Note has that digitiser for the pen inside it taking even more room :).

10. Basharhd99

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

Okay that looks pretty impressive.

12. Shubham1221

Posts: 153; Member since: Jul 29, 2015

I think they should use5.5 inches panel and with this body screen ratio it beats most of 5.5 inch phablets.5.7 inches phone is not my liking.But its still smaller than Iphone 6 plus.Also the battery should be 4000 mah if the phone thickness is 11 mm.

14. cc2400

Posts: 74; Member since: Aug 21, 2014

I'm going to top all of you complaining about the battery. it should have had at LEAST an 8000mah battery! /firstworldproblems!

16. tomn1ce

Posts: 247; Member since: Mar 12, 2012

Those pics looks nice. They finally improved their camera very good. I can 't wait to see what they did with the Droid Turbo successor. Now I have to decide between the Moto X Style, Note 5 and the (Droid Turbo 2nd gen). I will most likely go with the Moto X Style.

22. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

The daylight photo is just wow. Night shot is OK.

25. Loubielou

Posts: 603; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Just can"t wait to see and read the Full review about the Moto X Style phone & Camera,because i think Samsung will Over Price the Note 5,an if no Micro Sd Card Slot on the Note 5,it will be time to finally leave Samsung with the big mistakes they are making now days

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