Saturday, June 13, 2020

Smartphone Sensor Size Race

Android Authority talks about a trend of increasing the sensor size in smartphone cameras:

"Previously, it seemed impossible to stuff a sensor this large in a phone. Phones were just too small, and focus was put on making devices thinner and thinner. It was hard to make a lens system that didn’t bulge out of the device to an extreme degree. But, as phones have gotten bigger and cameras have gotten more important to users, big camera bumps have started to become both justified and normalized. Instead of looking clunky and out of place, large camera bumps have started to become a sign of a phone’s optical capabilities."

Counterpoint Research sees this trend too:


  1. Samsung's flagships have had the 1/2.55" sensor since the S7, all the way upto the S10, all with dual Pixel. It was also the flagship to introduce dual pixel.
    It's only since the S20 series that the main camera sensor got larger, for Samsung.

  2. There is a caveat. The larger sensor recently seen on Samsung’s and huawei are coupled with a wider lens than the ones on the 1/2 inch sensors like iPhone. It means that for a given subject at same distance these larger sensor camera will not capture more pixels or light compared to 1/2 inch. So what they basically did is take the 1/2 inch camera and added more files of view.

  3. Thanks Vladimir. It is incredible, there has always been a race for the smallest chip for the most compact phone. However, as there was limitations ie screen keyboard etc...larger phones were becoming accepted. Phones became bigger and along came bigger sensors (or multiple camera sensors) were adopted. As we know the larger the sensor, more light, comes greater possibility....for now, until new methods are cheaper this will be the trend. Mike

  4. There is a company in San Fransisco that’s using a 35 mm sensor in a sim phone. That’s sounds amazing if it’s not another pelican imaging

    1. Do you have a source for this? Perhaps just the name of the company or the phone. I tried googling it, but to no avail.



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