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?

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

It's the right way forward, others should follow
68.81%
It's the wrong way forward, others shouldn't follow
11.88%
I'm not sure
19.31%

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)

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102 Comments

1. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

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

4. T-rex unregistered

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

16. Rafishant

Posts: 396; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

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

31. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 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?

32. neops

Posts: 297; Member since: Jan 28, 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"

33. Aploine

Posts: 445; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

Me neither

87. k4ever

Posts: 240; Member since: Oct 08, 2014

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

89. Hypergy

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 24, 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.

83. burekbrigada

Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 19, 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

90. Ashoaib

Posts: 3285; Member since: Nov 15, 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

27. TerryTerius unregistered

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

85. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

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

30. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 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.

42. FrenchGuy

Posts: 134; Member since: Dec 12, 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.

58. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 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)

44. etron

Posts: 29; Member since: Sep 12, 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

50. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

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

55. Loveneesh

Posts: 437; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

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

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.

56. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

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

60. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 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

70. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

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

74. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 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.

2. Arschsalat

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

We need Night Vision =)

75. Tomgabriele

Posts: 30; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

How about that Caterpillar phone with FLIR?

3. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 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

7. Arschsalat

Posts: 158; Member since: Feb 29, 2016

s7 is looks better

12. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

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

23. ph00ny

Posts: 2031; Member since: May 26, 2011

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

54. AllFanboysMatter

Posts: 206; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

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

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