A Qualcomm executive has made claims that we could see smartphones that pack 64-megapixel and 100-megapixel+ camera sensors as early as the end of 2019.

We’re just starting to see devices pack in mammoth 48-megapixel sensors on the back, but this could ignite a proper megapixel war over the coming years.

Judd Heape, Qualcomm’s Senior Director of Product Management told MySmartPrice that a number of manufacturers are now working with sensor makers to try and get 64 and 100-megapixel+ sensors on smartphones by the end of this year.

Judd didn’t divulge any specific names but did say that “multiple brands” are set to try and implement these new ultra-high megapixel sensors by the end of 2019. That does mean we could potentially see Q4 flagships with 100-megapixel+ camera sensors — which is utterly insane.

As for how this will help improve our overall camera experience, Pixel-binning is currently used in many devices already packing in 48-megapixel sensors — effectively turning a full resolution image into a 12-megapixel image. This does mean that a 64-megapixel camera would produce 16-megapixel shots using the pixel-binning method.

Judd claimed that smartphone makers are in a race to release devices with the highest megapixel count, but that is at odds with what Qualcomm wishes to happen. He also confirmed that the company’s chipsets have always supported up to 192-megapixel sensors.

That said, the Qualcomm website has often just mentioned the maximum resolution at which 30fps and 60fps recording modes are supported — hence the lack of ‘official detail’.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 specs

This means that the Snapdragon 660, Snapdragon 670, Snapdragon 675, Snapdragon 710, Snapdragon 845, and the Snapdragon 855 all naturally support 48MP cameras (such as Samsung ISOCELL GM1 and Sony IMX586). That said, they do so without multi-frame noise reduction and zero shutter lag features.

Even so, despite other handsets having a much higher megapixel count, the Google Pixel 3 still manages to do more with software and a 12-megapixel sensor than others are capable of with 48-megapixel options. Let us know what you think of the potential for 100-megapixel+ cameras in the comments section below.

Should we hear directly from Qualcomm, we’ll also update this article giving further clarification.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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