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The iPhone 16 Pro could catch up to old Android phones with this upgrade

Apple could catch up to OPPO, OnePlus, and Xiaomi by offering a high-resolution ultrawide camera next year.

Published onAugust 16, 2023

iPhone 14 Pro in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • The iPhone 16 Pro series could arrive with a 48MP ultrawide rear camera.
  • Android OEMs have offered ultra-high-resolution ultrawide cameras for a few years now.
  • This could enable improved low-light ultrawide snaps and smoother Action Mode videos.

The iPhone 15 series isn’t out yet, but we’ve already seen loads of rumors and leaks regarding these phones. We’ve also seen a smattering of iPhone 16 leaks in recent times, and it looks like next year’s Pro models could be in for an ultrawide camera upgrade.

Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu has claimed (h/t: MacRumors) that the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max will gain a 48MP ultrawide rear camera. This represents a major resolution upgrade compared to the long-standing 12MP sensor currently used on iPhone models.

Apple wouldn’t be the first smartphone brand to offer a high-resolution ultrawide rear camera, though. Android brands such as HUAWEI, OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi have offered this feature since 2019 and 2020. The most recent examples include the OPPO Find X6 Pro, OnePlus 11, and the Xiaomi 13 Pro.

Why could this be a good thing?

There are a couple of reasons why you’d want an ultra-high-resolution ultrawide camera. For one, OEMs use pixel-binning on these sensors to deliver brighter, cleaner ultrawide shots in low light. In fact, OPPO in particular has often used the same 50MP sensor for both the main and ultrawide cameras, resulting in ultrawide snaps that are almost on par with shots from the primary camera.

The increased resolution can also be handy for modes like Super Steady video recording. This mode typically incorporates the ultrawide camera along with both optical and electronic stabilization (e.g. cropping) for smoother video. And a higher-resolution ultrawide camera could give you a larger buffer zone for more effective electronic stabilization in ideal conditions.

In other words, don’t be surprised if the iPhone 16 Pro and Pro Max both offer brighter ultrawide snaps in low light as well as noticeably smoother Action Mode footage.

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