Samsung confirms that it and Xiaomi have created a 108MP image sensor

Samsung confirms that it and Xiaomi have created a 108MP image sensor
Last week, Xiaomi announced that it had partnered with Samsung to develop the first image sensor to hit the triple-digit mark in megapixels. And today, Samsung merely repeated the news, but from its vantage point. The 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor is introduced by Samsung a little more than three months after the manufacturer announced its 64MP sensor. Samsung acknowledges that the new component is the result of a close collaboration between itself and Xiaomi. Mass production of the sensor will begin later this month. Resolution of the sensor is 12032 x 9024.

Because the 108MP sensor is the first mobile image sensor measuring a large 1/1.33-inch size, it produces what Sammy calls "exceptional" photographs under low-light conditions. When it comes to imaging sensors, size matters; the larger the sensor, the more light that can pass through it. Also helping to improve photos taken in less than optimal lighting environments is Sammy's Tetracell technology that merges four pixels into one to deliver 27MP photos when lighting is low.

Samsung's image sensor also adjusts the ISO settings automatically based on ambient lighting



The 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor also uses a technology called Smart-ISO that lowers the ISO in bright light to improve pixel saturation in order to create vivid photographs. In dark conditions, the ISO is automatically raised in order to reduce noise allowing for clearer images. The ISO setting measures the sensitivity of the image sensor to light. Traditionally, the higher the setting, the more sensitive the sensor is to light. That means a higher ISO could result in better photos under low-light conditions; however, the price you pay for this is a grainy photo. Samsung looks to avoid this by trying to optimize the signal-to-noise ratio on pictures snapped in low-light. The sensor also supports video recording in resolutions up to 6K (6016 x 3384) at 30fps.


The Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 was the first phone to feature a 48MP camera sensor. And the first to employ Samsung's 64MP sensor is expected to be a Realme model to be unveiled later this month. Xiaomi's first phone to sport Samsung's 64MP sensor will be announced during the fourth quarter. These both are brands not found in the U.S.

The megapixel war has started up again, apparently. Back in 2013, the Nokia Lumia 1020 was equipped with a 41MP camera, but that was the peak for years until Sony announced its 48MP sensor in July 2018. And here we are 13 months later, staring at the first image sensor in triple-digit territory. And while we might not see Samsung use its 64MP or 108MP sensors on any upcoming flagship phone, it could employ them on the mid-range Galaxy A line. For example, while the Galaxy Note 10 series features 12MP primary cameras, the Galaxy A80 is equipped with a 48MP primary camera in the back.


While a future Galaxy A model could include Samsung's 64MP image sensor, the 108MP appears to be exclusive to Xiaomi, at least for the time being.

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18 Comments

1. saddameu

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 26, 2017

if samsung doesn't include it in a flagship means it doesn't have the best quality and just proves is just marketing with fake numbers

2. splus

Posts: 167; Member since: Nov 26, 2011

The sheer size of the sensor (the largest in a phone, ever) begs to disagree with you!

3. mimicryXD

Posts: 180; Member since: Apr 03, 2015

Yeah and its laughable. They used sony sensor on their flagship at least some variant have. But you have so called isocell sensor and dont use it? It says a lot. I remember last year when both sony and samsung produced 32 and 48mp respectively and its night and day. Sony will always be superior and xiaomi made a bad move collaborating to samsung not on Sony. Yeah, i know sony sensor ss more pricier than samsung but its worth it. OP, Apple, Google even samsung using sony sensor on their flagship. If i were xiaomi, ill just wait for the next gen sony imx sensor.

8. dumpster666

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

fyi... Samsung's apsc sensors where quite ahead of the competition... their 6-7 years old sensor matched Sony's current sensors in performance.

11. QuantumRazer

Posts: 176; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

"I remember last year when both sony and samsung produced 32 and 48mp respectively and its night and day" Source? Do you own Redmi Note 7 and Note 7 Pro, and have you compared their image quality side by side, including in dng RAW using exactly the same ISO settings? And FYI Sony never made 32MP sensor, it's only 48MP.

14. oldskool50 unregistered

You sound complete lame. First off, in Samsung phones, they use both their own and Sony's sensors at the same time. The issue as to why Samsung still used Sony sensros is do to production. They had limited capability to build sensors. Based on side by side camera photos, you couldn't even tell Samsung's or Sony's sensors apart. The Galaxy S5 and S6 wree the first phoens discovered to be usign both as Samsung started gettign betetr with its own sensor. Just because you also use someone elses stuff, doesn't mean there is something wrong with your own stuff. You sound so clueless and ignorant. All of them use other peoples stuff, regardless if they make their own or not.

12. QuantumRazer

Posts: 176; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

No, this one is obviously better when it comes to the actual image quality. Note 10's main sensor has a slight edge in slow motion capability and autofocus, but that's pretty much it. 27MP resolution, 1.6┬Ám pixel size when pixel binned.. the sensor size does not lie.

13. Cat97

Posts: 1983; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Of course it's just numbers. Many pixels means many gaps between pixels, amounting to a huge area that is lost on the sensor and which serves no purpose. If they did a 1/1.33 inch sensor with 12MP it would have stunning image quality, but then creating a matching lens and OIS for such a sensor would result in a huge camera hump. Xiaomi will most likely sell this sensor with an average-quality lens and no OIS, just for marketing reasons.

15. oldskool50 unregistered

Why do they have to put it in a phone? Samsung also makes standalone digital cameras. You do know that...right? To put that in a phone where almost 50% of the back would be the camera looks stupid an ugly. Something liek this may not be meant for a phone, so your point is pointless at best.

4. ing0ram

Posts: 22; Member since: Jan 15, 2019

Well 1/1.33" is impressive, now please make sensor with the same size and with less but bigger pixels and put it in S11 please.

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5761; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

I want a 1/1.33" sensor but "only" 48MP. Native pixels ~1.45um. With pixel binning 2.9um! That 1/1.33" sensor is HUGE Almost 3x the size of the S10/P3/Xs' sensors Over 2x the size of those IMX586/GM1 (48MP 0.8um) Over 1.5x bigger than the upcoming Mate 30 Pro's 1/1.55" sensor

6. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I'm with you. They should stop running after mega pixels. Now People are not fool about mega pixels, like they were in 2013. Samsung and Xiaomi should rather increase individual pixel size. For example, 4um or 5um pixel size because it will vastly increase the capacity of a camera to capture more light and details. I email a lot of pictures to clients from my phone. I don't want 27mp size image. I want 12mp or 10mp like Sony's 48mp or Huawei mate and P series, with great quality. Why not make dual pixel binning option? Two times binning. Like what Nokia was doing. Lumia 1020 was creating 5mp binned picture from 41mp camera. Because Nokia was employing two time pixel merging. Large sensors are always welcomed because physic play an important role in cameras. Larger the sensor, more is the detail it will capture. But I feel no benefit of wasting the sensor by creating more mega pixels.

10. Papa_Ji

Posts: 885; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

U are so smart.... sony and Samsung should hire you and dump all there engineers. Those engineering will be very happy to see your groundbreaking sensor.

16. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Do you have anything subjective to say? Other than just taunting other people? Please let others to express their view on this headline with mannerism, instead of going after their comment in a sarcastic way.

7. dimas

Posts: 3422; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Giving focus and research on camera improvement shows that most casual users don't care about having bigger battery life and more color accurate display as long as they get better selfies and bokeh effects. I am part of the minority that want better display, audio quality and battery aside from great camera and I guess that will always become the case.

9. Plutonium239

Posts: 1249; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

If this sensor is so great why does Samsung not use sensors like this on their flagship phones, such as the note and galaxy s series devices?

17. shonasof

Posts: 36; Member since: Mar 18, 2019

Because it's a brand new development and didn't exist for their previous devices?

18. Plutonium239

Posts: 1249; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

They have had larger camera sensors like this prior to the development of the note 10 and s10, however they did not use them in either, but instead placed them in the low and midrange devices.

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