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With 200-megapixel sensor: First photo of the Motorola Frontier surfaced

Dominik Bärlocher
Zurich, on 29.03.2022

Motorola's next flagship smartphone shows itself in a first photo. The special feature: The camera sensor has a resolution of 200 megapixels.

The latest leaks confirm that the upcoming Motorola Frontier will take photos with a 200-megapixel camera sensor. This is confirmed by a picture that leaker Fenibook posted on the Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo.

Motorola Frontier Live Image Leak
Motorola Frontier Live Image Leak
Fenibook, Sina Weibo

In the picture, a lettering can be seen next to the triple-camera setup. This reads "200MP HP1 OIS f/2.2" and thus reveals what Motorola wants to score with: the Samsung HP1, the first 200-megapixel sensor installed in smartphones. The Motorola Frontier shows the world pictures from the sensor even before Samsung installs the chip in its own phones.

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Megapixels are not everything

The Samsung HP1 is the first chip that can record 200,000,000 pixels. With a standard aspect ratio of 4:3, the image would have a resolution of 51 633×38 735 pixels. However, the images in your photo gallery are unlikely to reach this resolution. Instead, the huge amount of data that the sensor can capture is used to enhance your image wherever possible using the camera system's artificial intelligence (AI). The same principle is used by the already available sensors with resolutions beyond 48 megapixels.

Samsung claims that the night mode would be dramatically improved once again with the HP1 doing its job between the lens and the system-on-a-chip (SoC). Details like hair would be finer and autofocus would be faster.

The HP1 should be of particular interest to smartphone filmmakers. It enables recording at 8K resolution at 30 fps - without any AI tricks at all. The resolution is high enough that not only the optical image stabilization compensates for shakiness, but this is also possible digitally without quality loss.

Is Xiaomi getting ahead of the game?

It is not yet known when the Motorola Frontier will be officially unveiled or, let alone, come to market. Fenibook's picture shows a phone that looks pretty finished, but that doesn't necessarily indicate a sales launch. It is quite possible that Xiaomi will beat Motorola to the punch with the Xiaomi 13. That is expected for the Christmas business.

But before Xiaomi could beat the megapixel count with the 13 phone at best, the release of the Xiaomi 12 Ultra is pending first. It will probably not feature a 200-megapixel sensor. According to rumors, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra will be equipped with Sony's Exmor 800. Although the sensor only has 50 megapixels, it is supposed to be the largest sensor that can be installed in a smartphone with a diagonal of 1.1 inches. At least with the technology of 2022.

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