We've all witnessed the megapixel race in digital cameras and, just a few years later, history has repeated itself in the smartphone camera sector. In 2012, when we launched DPReview Connect, 8MP was the standard resolution on high-end devices. Since then we've jumped to 13MP, 16MP and now many devices come with 20MP sensors and even higher resolutions.

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That said, very recently we've seen a reversal of the trend, with an aim to improve low-light performance. Both new Google Nexus devices, the 5X and 6P, come with 12.3MP 1/2.3-inch sensors which makes for the largest individual pixels of all current top-end smartphones. Now the next generation of the Samsung Galaxy line, which is expected to launch early 2016, is rumored to be equipped with a 1/2-inch 12MP imager which would be the largest among the current competition (albeit only slightly larger than 1/2.3-inch). Apparently the larger individual photosites will be combined with so-called dual-photodiode technology and Samsung has already registered the 'Britecell' trademark for the new sensor.

We'll have to wait until next year before we'll know if the rumors are true but it's interesting to see that there appears to be a shift from sensor resolution towards low-light performance in the smartphone world. A high-pixel-count can be very useful for cropping, especially when considering that smartphones don't come with zoom lenses. However, currently low light performance is still bad enough for many users to happily sacrifice some resolution for better image quality in dim conditions.  

Via: GSM Arena