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Sony unveils new CMOS sensors for smartphones

Sony's Exmor R image sensors have been a stand-out feature for many of the past year's Sony Ericsson phone cameras. Moving forward, the electronics giant looks set to introduce even more impressive capabilities in future devices, with today's announcement of new image sensors for smartphones.

Today Sony took the wraps off new CMOS image sensors for smartphones with white pixels in addition to the usual red, green and blue detectors. The new tech is designed to improve low-light performance, something which Sony, as well as rivals like HTC, have been focusing on in their high-end smartphones over the past year. Sony also says that this new "RGBW coding" allows them to introduce HDR video capabilities in its smartphone cameras, meaning more detail is captured in very light and very dark areas in the same shot.

Samples of the new sensors are due to ship from March, meaning it'll probably be later in the year before we'll see them in products you can actually buy. Sony's new Xperia S and Xperia Ion, which are due in March and Q2 respectively, feature earlier model Exmor R sensors at 12MP.

Source: Sony

Alex Dobie
Executive Editor

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • That's amazing.
  • Sweet! But I don't understand why this new Exmore R sensor can't be used in the ION.
  • The sensor is not going to be ready in time.
  • The photographer in me says this is awesome news. At some point in the near future, smartphones will kill the point-and-shoot camera. This development could do it.
  • will?
  • I heard Sony sells its top of the range sensors to Apple but uses its cheaper sensors in its xperia phones. Madness! Doesn't SONY realise that the WORLD misses the old SONY that you could depend on and no one could question on quality. How many bad earning quarters do they need to stack up before they wake up?
  • *curled up in the corner* the cake is a lie...the cake is a lie...the cake is a lie...the cake is a lie...the cake is a lie...the cake is a lie...the cake is a lie...
  • Sony- the same company that introduced Red/Green/Blue/EMERALD sensors several years ago, and abandoned it, going back to plain RGB like everyone else... Sounds like just the same thing again.
  • Seriously my next phone will probably be from Sony. (I mean several years later.)