Samsung's 43.7-megapixel sensor has the tiniest pixels yet

Soon, even petite smartphones will have high-resolution sensors.

Samsung's latest smartphone camera sensor above is under 5mm wide, but it has a resolution of 43.7 megapixels -- more than most DSLRs. That means the pixels on the "Isocell Slim GH1" are just 0.7 micrometers wide, beating the 0.8-micrometer pixels on Samsung's 64- and 108-megapixel sensors. "That will enable sleeker and more streamlined designs as well as excellent imaging experiences in tomorrow's smartphones," said image sensor VP Yongin Park in a press release.

The problem with the megapixel wars is that we can't break the laws of physics -- tiny pixels can't gather a lot of light. So, for night shooting, Samsung's Tetracell tech gathers four of them together, giving you lower-resolution 12-megapixel photos but much better light sensitivity. The chips also have gyro-based electronic image stabilization and phase-detect autofocus.

If video is more your thing, you can shoot 4K video without the big loss in field of view that usually crops out videos on other sensors, Samsung noted. The GH1 sensor will go into mass production by the end of the year, so if you see a compact smartphone in 2020 with a 43.7-megapixel camera, you'll know which sensor it likely packs.

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