Samsung is continuing its “more pixels is better” mantra with the launch of its latest 200-megapixel (MP) sensor. The ISOCELL HP2 is a relatively large (for a smartphone) Type 1/1.3 sensor (around 12mm diagonally) with a pixel pitch of 0.6 micrometers (μm) — in between the 200-megapixel HP1 and HP3 sensors. It offers more light gathering than past sensors along with new HDR features and will likely be used in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone.
The HP2 uses something Samsung calls Dual Vertical Transfer Gate (D-VTG) technology. This essentially doubles the number of electrons available from each photo diode, “boosting the pixel’s full-well capacity by more than 33 percent,” the company wrote. That means a pixel can hold more charge before saturating, reducing overexposure and improving color reproduction in bright light conditions.
As before, it can transform into either a 1.2μm 50MP or 2.4μm 12.5MP sensor by binding either four or 16 neighboring pixels, allowing for better performance in low light. It can shoot up to 8K 30 fps video in 50MP mode (up from 24 fps on the Galaxy S22) to minimize cropping while still allowing for sharp video. It also uses something called Smart-ISO Pro to capture 12.5MP HDR images and 4K HDR at up to 60 fps. And as before, each pixel acts as a focus agent to allow for quick autofocus, even in low-light situations.
Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra “only” had a 108MP sensor, with the 200MP HP1 chip used in other devices like the Motorola 30 Edge Ultra and Xiaomi 12T Pro. However, rumor has it that the S23 Ultra will have a 200MP sensor, and the HP2 fits the bill as it’s already in mass production, Samsung said. The Galaxy S23 is set to be revealed in just two weeks on February 1st, 2023.