Move over 64MP: Samsung unveils 108MP camera sensor destined for Xiaomi phone

The Xiaomi Mi 9T (Image credit: Future)
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Samsung handsets have rarely been the best camera phones, but many of the cameras that other brands use come from Samsung, and the company has just unveiled another sensor – one with an enormous megapixel count.

In its newsroom (opens in new tab) Samsung unveiled a 108MP camera sensor, designed for use in smartphones, and that's the highest resolution we've ever seen in a smartphone camera.

In May 2019, Samsung unveiled a 64MP smartphone sensor, but although we've heard it rumored to debut on many phones from brands like Xiaomi, Realme and Redmi, nothing has actually released with the camera yet.

In fact, the smartphones with the highest resolution out now are all capped at 48MP, although it won't be long before a device breaks that barrier.

One of the highlights of Samsung's 108MP camera sensor is that it can take in lots of light, so in low-light settings the camera can still take relatively bright 27MP images. On top of that it can record in lossless 6K, at 30 frames per second.

Which smartphone will use Samsung's 108MP camera?

Unlike Samsung's 64MP camera, which was an open playing field, the 108MP sensor seems to have already been promised to a company: Xiaomi.

In Samsung's announcement of the sensor, it talks about "close collaboration between Xiaomi Corp. and Samsung," and while that doesn't confirm a Xiaomi phone will have the tech first, it seems pretty likely anyway.

We could see the Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 come with the sensor, as Xiaomi previously teased, or perhaps even the Mi 10. We haven't heard too much about either device though, so both could be some way off.

After that we can expect to see the sensor in other phones – probably not the Samsung Galaxy S11 or Note 11, as Samsung tends to prefer low megapixel counts in its home-grown devices, but we can expect brands like Realme to jump on board as soon as possible.

Tom Bedford
Deputy Editor - Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is to specialize in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working in TechRadar freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. Outside of TechRadar he works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.