SONY Brand Shot logo CES 2014-3

Sony has just released a teaser hinting that a new smartphone will be heading our way on August 3rd. Playing to one of Sony’s strengths, it seems that the phone will feature some new high-end camera technology, which is capable of capturing split-second photos.

We are quite possibly looking at the first Sony smartphone to make use of the company’s high-end Exmor RS IMX230 image sensor. The IMX230 was announced last November and features the same 21 megapixel resolution as Sony’s other high resolution mobile sensors.

The major new feature is the inclusion of 192 point phase detection autofocus (PDAF), which can track objects with high accuracy for fast and accurate focusing. The sensor is also capable of capturing 30fps 4K footage and 120fps slow motion video at 720p. Some of this may have something to do with the teaser’s wording?

Unlike laser autofocus technology that relies on additional hardware, PDAF uses a number of pixels embedded into the image sensor to detect the phase of light reaching the sensor, from which it can calculate the distance to an object. PDAF isn’t entirely new to smartphones, but the IMX230 could be best mobile implementation of the technology to date.

This new Sony handset wouldn’t be the first smartphone on the market to use this sensor though. The component has already found its way into a few flagship smartphones this year, including the Huawei Honor 7 and the new Moto X Style and Play handsets. The Xperia Z3 and Z3+ used Sony’s older IMX220. Sony also has a 16MP version, the IMX234, which was used in the LG G4’s camera.

Anyway, we should probably wait for the official announcement before getting anymore ahead of ourselves. We don’t have any other clues about the smartphone yet. Fortunately, August 3rd isn’t far away.

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