Xiaomi teases the 64 MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1

The 64 MP Sasmung ISOCELL Bright GW1 is objectively a better sensor than the 48 MP Sony IMX586. (Source: MI)
The 64 MP Sasmung ISOCELL Bright GW1 is objectively a better sensor than the 48 MP Sony IMX586. (Source: MI)
Instead of launching the Redmi Note 8 as we hypothesized last week, Xiaomi held a conference and showcased its camera tech. Most notably, the 64 MP Samsung GW1 that will feature on an upcoming Redmi Note 8.

A few days ago, Xiaomi teased a 64 MP camera for an event scheduled for yesterday, August 7. We may have jumped the gun by touting the event to be a possible Redmi Note 8 launch, as the company only just had a camera tech conference instead. At the conference, it revealed more details of the 64 MP sensor.

The sensor is the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1. That's not news at the point, as Samsung officially announced it months ago. The GW1 is a 64 MP sensor with a 0.8μm pixel size. Much like other higher-res sensors like the GM1 or IMX586, it uses pixel-binning—or Tetracell, Samsung's take on that technology—to have a real-world pixel size of 1.6μm.

Where the GW1's strengths lie is in sensor size, though. The GW1 has a 1/1.7" sensor size. For some perspective, the ultra-popular IMX586 has a sensor size of 1/2". That makes it 38% bigger, which also translates directly into information the sensor picks up when taking a shot.

That sensor size also puts it on par with Sony's flagship IMX600, the same sensor used on the Huawei P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro to incredible effect. The IMX600 has a 1.0μm pixel standard pixel size, though, so it still has an edge.

All in all, the GW1 looks like a handy improvement over the IMX586 at the very least. Which begs the question, of course, of why Samsung chose not to use it on the Galaxy Note 10 phones. Who knows?

The GW1 is expected to feature on an upcoming Redmi phone that will be launched in Q4, but first of all, we'll see it on the new Realme 5 that's billed for launch today.

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Ricci Rox, 2019-08- 8 (Update: 2019-08- 8)
Ricci Rox
Ricci Rox - News Editor - @riccirox
I'm a freelance copywriter who lives and dies for tech. Android, ​especially. The smartphone market is one going through an impressive growth spurt, so I crawl the Internet with keen interest in a technological ecosystem that doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.