China’s tech giant Xiaomi unveiled the world’s first handset to offer a 108-megapixel camera.
The very high resolution sensor has been developed by Samsung, which does not have it yet to its own products.
Companies say that the advantage is that it provides “extremely sharp and detailed photographs”.
However, one of the first tests of the technology indicates that its images contain more digital distortions than those produced by lower resolution smartphones.
At the moment, the Mi CC9 Pro Premium has only been announced in the Chinese market, where the base model costs 2,799 yuan (USD 400).
But Xiaomi said he would use the same component of Mi Note 10, which will be launched Wednesday and sold more widely.
According to the company’s firm is currently the fourth-largest vendor of smart phones the world’s best-selling studies Canalysau, with a 9.1% market share.
Its sales are growing rapidly in Europe and the group has announced its intention to expand to Japan in 2020.
Until now, 100MP + sensors were generally the preserve of medium-format digital cameras, which can cost tens of thousands of books.
By trying to gain a lot of resolution in a smaller smartphone component, the risk of crosstalk increases, a phenomenon where the electrical activity of a pixel is reflected on its neighbors because they are so close together. This causes a digital noise in the final image.
In addition, as each pixel must be smaller than normal to fit in the same space, it receives less light, which causes other problems in low light conditions.
The Samsung Isocell Plus sensor partially solves these problems by being larger than most smartphone sensors.
But its main innovation is that its pixels are arranged in groups of four, each set sharing the same color filter to detect red, green or blue light.
By default, the data in each group is merged to mimic the behavior of a larger pixel. This translates into a 27-megapixel photo.
But if there is enough light, the user can replace the function to get a 108MP image. This is achieved via a software algorithm that remaps the pixels to simulate what would have been recorded, if they had been arranged in the normal pattern.
The design, however, is not without problems.
“The images of the Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition showed more artifacts than our other phones with better scores,” said the critics’ DXOMarksite, one, who quickly gained access to the new device.
He added that the phone offers “limited dynamic range compared to other high-performance users”, which means it tends to capture less detail in the highs and lows.
Users should also remember that 108 MP shots will take up a lot more memory than usual and require more processing power to be edited.
However, the phone also includes other lower-resolution sensors on the back for telephoto portraits, wide-angle landscapes, and macro close-ups, which helped DXOMark give it a high score.
Xiaomi had previously announced plans to use the Mi Mix Alpha’s 108MP sensor, unveiled in September.
But this phone has been touted as a luxury device with a price of 19,999 yuan ($ 2,856; £ 2,228) and should not be released until December.
An expert said that the inclusion of the camera in the mass market Mi CC9 Pro and Mi Note 10 should help phones stand out.
“Mobile phone manufacturers will do almost anything to turn people’s heads, and this huge megapixel camera is a way to get attention,” commented Ben Wood of CCS Insight.
“It does not necessarily mean that you’ll always get the best image in all conditions, but for many consumers, it seems like the higher the number, the better the product.”