Finally, after a lot of reports and rumors, the OnePlus 10 Pro smartphone was released in China. This flagship phone seems to be one of the most competitive products on the market because it is equipped with a first generation Snapdragon 8 processor, 5000 mAh battery, old QHD display with 120Hz refresh rate, water resistance and wireless charging capability.
According to Android Authority, the OnePlus 10 uses a new 50-megapixel wide-angle camera in the OnePlus 10 Pro, which offers a 150-degree viewing angle, which is similar to the GT 2 Pro 50-megapixel rear-view camera. The 150-degree viewing angle on smartphones is unparalleled, which means you can capture larger scenes in your images.
Unfortunately, the new 50-megapixel OnePlus 10 Pro camera seems to have a major drawback because its quality is lower than before.
One step forward, two steps back?
The OnePlus website confirms that the OnePlus 10 Pro uses Samsung’s JN1 sensor. The dimensions of this sensor are 1 / 2.76 inches and its pixels are 0.64 microns. For comparison, the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro cameras are IMX766 with a sensor size of 1.56 inches and a pixel size of one micron. Even the OnePlus 8 Pro has a better camera with a 1 / 2.0-inch sensor and 0.8-micron pixels.
When it comes to the sensor and pixel dimensions of a smartphone camera, the larger the dimensions, the better the image quality because it will allow more light to be captured to capture the image. More light also means less noise, brighter scenes, and improved dynamic range in camera-captured images.
Due to the dimensions of the camera used in the OnePlus 10 Pro, this new camera captures lower quality images in low light conditions compared to the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 8 Pro.
The OnePlus 10 Pro has apparently sacrificed ultra-wide image quality due to the increased field of view.
However, this conclusion is not yet conclusive, as the software processing and the main chip of the device are two other factors that can reduce the effect of a small sensor. For example, while Google’s competitors have long used larger cameras, the company has shown in the past that it can achieve stunning results with a 12-megapixel camera.
Of course, OnePlus is not Google, and software processing has long been a problem in the company’s camera phones. OnePlus has changed everything dramatically in the last few years, but it can certainly be argued that it is still not at the level of Google, Samsung or Apple.
But why change?
The OnePlus has not yet offered a reason to change the OnePlus 10 Pro’s 50-megapixel camera, but it can be speculated that the company’s decision to opt for a 150-degree field of view may be due to a reduction in the phone’s sensor size. OnePlus may have encountered technical challenges while trying to pair this field of view with a larger sensor.
It is worth noting that Samsung has introduced the JN1 sensor in the OnePlus 10 Pro as a slim camera and has previously said that it can reduce the size of the camera protrusion by at least 10% compared to the 0.7 micron pixel sensors. Therefore, it is possible that OnePlus, with prior knowledge, sacrificed the image quality for the protrusion of the camera. Of course, looking at the OnePlus 10 Pro, it can be said that removing the camera bulge is not on the OnePlus’s list of priorities.
In any case, the decision to reduce the size of the camera sensor is a confusing decision, as most reviews of the OnePlus 9 Pro’s widescreen camera were positive. OnePlus would have preferred the common phrase “do not change what works well.”
Of course, using a much smaller sensor does not guarantee poor results, but if this happens, it should come as no surprise. We’ll have to wait and see what the results of expert reviews of the OnePlus 10 Pro widescreen camera and its comparison with the previous generation camera of this product will reveal.