Sony has been conspicuous by its absence in the smartphone arena per se, but they have been working hard behind the scenes. Yes, we are talking about the components that your phone is made of. You will find that most of the popular phone cameras come with image sensors made by them on a host of smartphones.
The Sony IMX586 was what you found in most of those 48 MP cameras around you. And now, Sony has already launched the successor in the form of Sony IMX686 and will be available in a handful of phones early this year and beyond.
Sony IMX686- An Overview
The Sony IMX686 has been a new image sensor coming up from Sony. It offers a resolution of 64 MP and packs a stunning pixel resolution of 9248 x 6944. The pixel size reads 1.6 microns, and the sensor measures 1/1.7 inches in dimension.
Sony relies on the reliable pixel binning technology to combine four pixels into one for an improved and enhanced low light photography. The larger pixels will let more light into the sensor, thereby improving the low light photography to a greater extent.
The sensor size on the Sony IMX686 is larger than the one on its Samsung counterpart. The Samsung GW1 features a 1/1.72 inch sensor with a maximum frame rate of 21 fps at its full resolution. The Sony sensor, on the other hand, would come with a sensor size of a 1/1.7-inch size. The Sony sensor is expected to take a better picture when you compare it to the Samsung GW1 sensor.
Samsung has been a pioneer in this space with its Isocell GW1. How about comparing the specs that these two sensors offer?
|Sensor||Sony IMX686||Samsung ISOCELL GW1|
|Resolution||64MP||9280 x 6944|
|Pixel Size||0.8um to 1.6um (pixel binning)||0.8um to 1.6um (tetra cell)|
|Interface||MIPI 4 Lane RAW|
While the Samsung sensor has been powering the camera on a host of devices, the Redmi K30 is the first device to embrace Sony’s offering of the 64 MP camera capability.
While Sony IMX686 appears to be a great option when compared to the Samsung GW1 sensor – at least on paper, however, the smartphone photography is not only related to the sensor parameters alone. You would also need to check out a host of other parameters such as the image signal processor, and the software optimization techniques employed by the smartphone maker.
The best Smartphones with Sony IMX686 Image sensor
Well, the high megapixel war has just begun ad there are not many devices that feature the functionality on their smartphones. Of course, the high megapixel count on the smartphone camera is not something we would be using daily. That may be a reason that we aren’t finding many devices with high MP count.
Even then, the war for features on a smartphone now seems to have switched to megapixel count, and that would explain the launch of yet another high megapixel sensor from Samsung – the Isocell Bright HMX with 108 MP resolution.
With that background info, here are a few phones that offer you the 64 MP camera sensor from Sony viz IMX686.
That, as we stated before, is the first-ever phone to feature the Sony IMX686 sensor. The phone was launched in China in December 2019 and is awaiting a global launch in 2020. The phone will come with an f/1.89 aperture.
The phone will, apart from the IMX686, consist of three additional cameras – 8MP 120-degree FoV ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5MP (2MP on K30 4G) 2cm macro lens, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, you will have access to a 20-megapixel selfie snapper with another 2 MP unit for depth measurement.
The phone will be powered by Snapdragon 765 along with dual-mode 5G support. You also have a 4G version if you are not yet ready for the 5G revolution.
The second phone to feature the Sony IMX686 is, once again, from Xiaomi. From the Poco sub-brand, the Poco X2 is the rebranded version of the Redmi K30 4G variant in India. Offered at a sub 20K price, the Snapdragon 730G octa-core processor powers the phone.
The key feature provided by the Poco X2 is its 120Hz refresh rate screen. The phone also boasts of liquid cooling technology. You have a 2MP portrait lens, an 8MP wide-angle-lens, and a 2MP macro lens on the rear along with 64 MP Sony IMX686 sensor. The front camera offers a 20 MP+2 MP combination. The 4500 mAh battery is yet another plus point that should make it a great option.
Vivo X30 Pro
The Vivo X30 sports a quad-camera setup with the 64 MP camera as the first option. The phone features the Sony IMX686 sensor onboard. The camera comes with a Samsung Exynos 980 SoC processor.
The availability of an integrated 5G modem, along with the dedicated AI support, would ideally make it one of the much-preferred options for your needs in the best possible alternatives for an enhanced experience. The rest of the specifications would include the 6.89 inch AMOLED screen, up to 12 GB of RAM, and up to 256 GB storage space. The 4500 mAh battery backup, along with a 44 W charger support, is what would make it one of the much-preferred alternatives.
Poco F2 Pro
The Poco F2 is Xiaomi’s flagship killer in 2020. It comes with the latest Snapdragon 865 SoC and an integrated 5G modem. It also comes with the high-speed LPDD5 and UFS 3.1 storage. With Xiaomi’s second-generation LiquidCool Technology 2.0 technology, it helps the phone to run cooler under extreme circumstances.
Here are some spec highlights:
- Snapdragon 865 SoC
- LPDDR5 RAM
- UFS 3.1 Storage (ROM)
- LPDDR5 + UFS 3.1 (8GB+256GB variant)
- LPDDR4X + UFS 3.1 (6GB+128GB variant)
- 6.67 inch AMOLED display
- Contrast ratio of 5000000:1 and a brightness of 500 nits (typ) / 800 nits (HBM)
- Rheinland Full Care Display Certification, HDR10+
- Sony IMX686 – 8k and 4K Video
There are a host of cameras that feature a 64 MP camera, but many of them come with the Samsung GW1 sensor. Sony appears to be a little late in introducing its 64 MP IMX686 sensor, and that can be one of the reasons we do not find many of the phones offering the Sony IMX686 sensor on their devices.
Sony has gone on record that the smartphones will feature the new sensor in 2020. Let us wait and see which new devices come up with the Sony sensor onboard in the year ahead. We will check out the latest releases and update the post as it happens.