(Pocket-lint) - Not to be outdone by Samsung - which recently announced its own brand new Isocell GN2 sensor - it's claimed Sony is readying an even larger sensor for smartphones.
If a tweet by frequent tipster, @rodent950 is anything to go by, we could see the Sony IMX800 sensor hit the market in April.
What makes this all the more impressive is that it'll be the first 1-inch mobile sensor, and it's likely it'll end up on the back of the Huawei P50 if the release schedule lines up.
April: world first 1" mobile camera sensor IMX800 pic.twitter.com/t88Qqmancn— Teme (特米) (@RODENT950) February 24, 2021
Huawei's 2020 flagship camera phones - P40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro - use the Sony IMX700 (the previous generation), which was incredible in its own right. At the time, it was one of the biggest sensors in a phone at 1/1.28-inch.
In a follow up to the tweet on the 4th, it was suggested that it'll be the main sensor used in the range of phones and we could expect three models of P50.
Main + ultra wide + tele— Teme (特米) (@RODENT950) February 24, 2021
Main + Ultra wide + periscope
Main + Ultra wide + tele + periscope + ToF https://t.co/5IWs05O3p6
It's being suggested here that each phone in the series will have at least three cameras. The P50 is expected to have an ultra-wide and telephoto zoom lens, while the P50 replaces the telephoto with a periscope-like zoom for much longer focal lenghts.
The third device is likely the P50 Pro Plus and features both the telephoto and periscope zoom as well as an additional ToF (Time of Flight) sensor.
It stands to reason then that Huawei continues to improve its camera offering by using the next generation sensor from the same supplier. A 1-inch sensor would go a long way to maintaining its position at the top of the camera pile.
Last year, Huawei announced the P40 range at the end of March, which means a retail launch would normally be in the following months, depending on region.
While Huawei phones have a lost a lot of relevance in markets outside China recently, the phone-maker still delivers some of the best camera phones on the planet, and one way to improve that is to increase the size of the sensor and the pixels on that sensor.
Of course, it wouldn't be the first Android device to have a 1-inch sensor. In fact, Panasonic launched the Lumix CM1 way back in 2014.
While one could argue it was a phone, because it ran Android and had all the features of a phone, it was more a compact camera that also ran Android and could be used as a phone.
That 1-inch sensor and the mechanical lens on the front did enable some pretty incredible looking images though, even if - at the time - it meant having quite a chunky device in your pocket.
Seeing that the mobile industy is now almost at the place where a 1-inch sensor can be placed in side a proper phone is pretty incredible, and we can't wait to see what results will be like from Sony's upcoming sensor.