In a recent interview, Judd Heape, who is the Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management revealed that phones with 64MP and 100MP cameras will likely come this year.
However, ultra high-megapixel cameras in phones is not Qualcomm’s main target area for the market. While current Snapdragon chipsets (660, 670, 675, 710, 845, 855) support maximum resolutions 192MP, features like multi-frame noise reduction and zero shutter lag must be disabled for those. This simply means that phones won’t be able to snap a series of photos and combine them into a cleaner single image but will rather capture a single high-megapixel image and then use pixel binning to create a lower-res one. Current 48MP phones combine 4 pixels into one for a resulting 12MP shot. Going forward it’s possible that phones with 64MP cameras will create binned 16MP images.
That’s the opposite direction to what devices like Samsung’s Galaxy S10, Google’s Pixel 3 or Apple’s iPhone XS are going. Those phones use lower resolution sensors and multi-frame magic to create images with less noise and higher detail.
There’s a clear movement in 2019 of phones with higher megapixel cameras. Devices like the Xiaomi Mi 9 and Redmi Note 7 Pro have 48MP main camera while the vivo V15 Pro has a 48MP main and 32MP selfie snapper. That trend is said to continue but it’s not clear which phones are going to move it forward – currently higher-megapixel cameras are mostly found in mid-rangers.
Heape also revealed that Qualcomm’s next flagship chipset – tentatively named Snapdragon 865 – will add support for HDR10 video recording.