Oppo and Sony are reportedly working on a new image sensor - likely to be dubbed Sony IMX789. The first smartphone to use this sensor, most likely, will be Oppo's upcoming flagship smartphone, the Oppo Find X3.
This unofficial information was revealed by popular Chinese leakster Digital Chat Station on Monday, December 28th, via his Weibo account. As evident from the name, this new sensor would be positioned as a direct successor to the IMX689, which was used on the Oppo Find X2 Pro launched in early 2020.
While the IMX 789 shall not be exclusive to Oppo, the company will benefit from a temporary exclusivity for its 2021 flagship models. The current sensor, the Sony IMX689, which also equips the OnePlus 8 Pro, is already very competitive in the photo smartphone market.
The successor to the already very good Sony IMX689
With an impressive physical size for a 1/1.45-inch or 11.2 mm diagonal smartphone sensor, the IMX 689 boasts of 48-megapixel resolution and can produce 12 million pixels of 2.24 µm each with its Quad Bayer filter.
Its hypothetical successor could only do better than the already very convincing performance of the IMX689 on the current Oppo and OnePlus flagships. Especially if we find the native double ISO, which reacts differently to the Find X2 Pro in different light scenarios.
If the launch of the Sony IMX789 is confirmed, we can expect the Oppo Find X3 to offer enhanced processing capabilities and/or an even higher physical pixel count - who knows, we might see a company other than Samsung offering 108 MP on a wide-angle sensor.
But in the absence of official information, all this remains pure speculation. It's unclear whether Oppo and its supplier, Sony, will opt for a larger format sensor, a higher resolution sensor, or both. In a first preview in the form of a keynote last November, the manufacturer had expressed its willingness to bet everything on exposure and color management on its next smartphones.
The Find X3 series will be the first, according to Oppo, to use image sensors with DOL-HDR technology. Here, several exposure times are combined into a single image, resulting in a detailed image with a very high dynamic range. As an application scenario, Oppo suggests taking pictures in high-contrast situations, e.g. when shooting with backlighting.
As a reminder, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is expected to be officially introduced in early 2021. It should be equipped with a 6.7-inch 525 PPI display that will support an adaptive refresh rate of 10 to 120 Hz. According to information from Leaker Evan Blass, it would also feature two 50 megapixel sensors for wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle, as well as a telephoto lens with a 13 megapixel sensor.