Hands-on with the Realme 64MP Quad camera prototype: First base with 64MP
Realme is taking on competitors in India with spec-rich smartphones at compelling prices. The company recently launched its most premium product yet – the Realme X, and is now ready to bring another interesting product to the Indian market. Earlier in the week, Realme hosted an event in New Delhi, where they gave us the first look of their upcoming 64MP camera technology. While we’re still a couple of months away from the launch of an actual smartphone with this 64MP quad-camera setup, Realme brought in some prototypes from China for us to take a look.
Realme will be using a 64MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1, a 1/1.7-inch sensor with a pixel size of 0.8μm. As per Samsung, this is the smallest pixel size currently available in the market. The sensor also supports Samsung’s Tetracell technology, which is a fancy moniker for what is essentially pixel binning. Four pixels across a square grid combine into one pixel of 1.6μm and the resulting image has 16 megapixels. This, as with most other smartphones that allow pixel binning, allows for brighter and more saturated images. The sensor also supports real-time HDR up to 100dB.
Realme claims they have optimized the software to build upon the capabilities of the sensor. At the event in India, Realme boasted that they will be the first company to launch the 64MP, and even took a jab at Xiaomi’s off-shoot Redmi for making a product announcement for a 64MP camera without actually showcasing a product.
Hands-on with the Realme 64MP camera
The actual smartphone with the 64MP quad cameras will be arriving in October, but the company let members of the media fraternity test out the prototypes of the product. This, however, was under tight security and Realme made no allowance for using the smartphone beyond the basic camera operations. We were also barred from transferring images from the test devices to ours, view image info for EXIF data, or even fiddle with the Camera’s settings.
The topmost sensor in this array has a 64MP resolution and the others, based on the features described by Realme, are dedicated to wide-angle imaging, macro photography, and depth sensing. I used the limited opportunity to test the 64MP camera mode and compared it with the 16MP mode with pixel-binned images. Since the tests were done on a prototype and not on a final product, I will refrain from actually forming any rigid opinions about its camera performance. Realme says the final product will be unveiled before Diwali.
The Camera UI, to begin with, felt the same as that of other Realme devices we have used in the past. On the top, there’s an icon for switching to the wide-angle camera while the “Ultra 64MP” and the “Ultra macro” modes are located in the overflow menu accessible by the hamburger button to the left of the Video option.
Coming to the performance of the 64MP camera, I took images of the miniature model of the city that Realme put in the demo area to capture and zoom into the tiny figurines which were barely a centimeter (0.4-inches) in size. There’s only so much to analyze about the camera’s performance, so here’s a preview:
There is an observable shutter lag in the 64MP mode while the 16MP images noticeably have higher saturation, and hopefully, Realme will take these into consideration while making the final product.
I was also able to try out the macro mode on the quad-camera setup. This sensor apparently has a fixed focus setup with a focal length of approximately 4cm (1.6-inches). Here is a sample zooming into the macro shot:
The quad-camera setup is also likely to be a part of the upcoming Realme 5 and the Realme 5 Pro but these two devices will not have the 64MP camera. We hope to bring you more about Realme’s quad-camera setup when we get our hands-on with a final product in October.
What are your thoughts on Realme’s 64MP quad-camera setup based on the information available so far? What do you like, and what would you change? Let us know in the comments below!