Smartphones have gotten to a point that you cannot tell two devices apart unless you see the brand. In the portfolio of same brand, it is now almost impossible to differentiate two devices since they look identical and marginally differ in terms of specifications. For example, the just launched Redmi Note 7S looks identical to Redmi Note 7 but has one major difference: 48-megapixel main camera at the back. This brings us to the biggest trend among smartphone makers, to use a 48-megapixel camera instead of a 12-megapixel camera most widely used in the industry. Both Samsung and Sony offer a 48-megapixel camera sensor for mobile devices and in real life, these sensors produce sharper image filled with rich detail compared to traditional mobile image sensors.
With pixel binning, smartphone makers are able to produce a standard 12-megapixel image and algorithms are used to combine four pixels into a high-resolution image. The 48-megapixel sensor is also being used to produce brighter images in low-light since the sensor is larger at 1.6-micron pixels and is thus more sensitive to light. Smartphone makers are able to configure the sensor to support wider f/1.6 aperture with the 48-megapixel sensor. If you are out in the market for a camera-centric smartphone then you need to make that it has a 48-megapixel sensor. In India, these are the smartphones that currently pack a 48-megapixel sensor on their back.
Watch: OnePlus 7 Pro First Look
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7S, launched just today, is the newest device to join this growing segment of smartphones with a 48-megapixel rear camera. The Redmi Note 7S is basically the Redmi Note 7 but featuring a 48-megapixel camera on the back as opposed to 12-megapixel shooter seen on the regular Note 7. The Redmi Note 7 Pro was the first device with a 48-megapixel camera from the company in India.
The Chinese smartphone maker is running a branding where it is promoting 48-megapixel camera for everyone. The 48-megapixel camera uses a 1/2-inch sensor with a wider f/1.8 aperture. Xiaomi is promising improvements in areas like color reproduction, details, dynamic range and ability to zoom into pictures after the fact. Apart from a 48-megapixel camera, the Redmi Note 7S also has a 5-megapixel depth sensor and a 13-megapixel selfie camera. It comes with a 6.3-inch Full HD+ display, Snapdragon 660 SoC, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB internal storage and a large 4,000mAh battery. It is priced at Rs 10,999 for the 32GB storage model while the 64GB variant is priced at Rs 12,999.
OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro
OnePlus recently joined other smartphone makers to equip its flagship – OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro – with a 48-megapixel main camera. Both OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro feature a 48-megapixel optically stabilized Sony IMX586 image sensor on their back, which acts as the primary camera. Again, this is an 1/2-inch sensor and have a pixel size of 0.8 micron. The 48-megapixel sensor on the OnePlus 7 has f/1.7 aperture while that on OnePlus 7 Pro opens even wider at f/1.6. The sensor has contributed significantly to the improved results in imaging and DxOMark ranking of 111 for the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The 48-megapixel primary camera on the OnePlus 7 is paired with a secondary 5-megapixel depth sensor. While the OnePlus 7 Pro features two more cameras on its back: a 16-megapixel ultrawide camera and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera. Both the devices have a 16-megapixel selfie camera with OnePlus 7 Pro using a motorized mechanism. OnePlus 7 will be available at a starting price of Rs 32,999 from next month while OnePlus 7 Pro is now available at a starting price of Rs 48,999.
Honor View20 was the first smartphone to launch in India with a 48-megapixel main camera. The View20 with its Sony IMX586 sensor and wider f/1.6 aperture showed the potential of Sony’s new image sensor and how one can zoom into pictures without losing details in the highlights and shadow area. The View20’s excellent imaging capability is expected to be available on the upcoming Honor 20 Series as well, which is set to launch globally on May 21. Honor View20 is priced at Rs 37,999 and is available online via Amazon India.
Vivo V15 Pro
Vivo V15 Pro features a triple rear camera setup where the main camera uses 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor. The main sensor is paired with an 8-megapixel ultrawide camera and a 5-megapixel depth camera. The main 48-megapixel sensor on the Vivo V15 Pro lacks optical image stabilization but it does support wider f/1.8 aperture and uses phase detect autofocus to quickly focus on images. The sensor is same as the one used on other devices but uses Qualcomm ISP from Snapdragon 675 to improve images and processing time.
Oppo F11 & F11 Pro
Oppo F11 and F11 Pro are among the cheapest devices in India with a 48-megapixel main camera. The Oppo F11 and F11 Pro feature a 48-megapixel main camera with 1/2-inch sensor and f/1.8 aperture and phase detect autofocus. While the sensor is not different from other devices, it uses Oppo’s proprietary camera software to enhance images. It shoots at 12-megapixel by default but users can manually change the setting to capture a 48-megapixel image as well.