Rumoured specs of Sony’s 2/3-inch curved camera sensor for smartphones leak

by XB on 21st July 2014

in Imaging

Sony LogoAs we have reported recently, Sony is developing a curved CMOS image sensor which allows for higher sensitivity, less distortion and a simpler lens system. It is developing two sensors one for smartphones along with a full-sized chip. Further details about developments on the sensor are expected at the Photokina tradeshow on 16 September, but if you can’t wait that long, rumours on the smaller curved sensor are starting to leak.

The spec sheets below of the IMX271SMK camera sensor points to a 22 MegaPixel curved sensor with an impressive signal-to-noise ratio of 41.1dB. The lens details point to a 7.83mm f/1.2 G Lens that is only 6mm in thickness and a 20mm focal length We’d love to see this technology in an upcoming Sony Xperia smartphone, fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long.

Curved 2-3 Sensor_1 Curved 2-3 Sensor_2

Via SAR.

Thanks Rony!

  • Alfino Setya

    Xperia Z3 will not use it, but Xperia Z4 will use this sensor, I can’t wait for XZ4 at CES ’15!!!!

  • xperiaDROID

    I smell Xperia Z3…

    I hope the Z3 will have:
    2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad core processor
    Adreno 420 GPU
    3GB RAM
    5.2 inch IPS FHD Triluminos with Live Color LED display
    22 MP G Lens 2/3″ camera
    Micro SD card slot
    Micro USB 3.0
    Good battery life
    Water and dust proof
    Android L 5.0 with new Xperia UI
    New design but keep some of Sony’s signature design
    Thin bezel
    Metal sides with glass back
    Some innovative features from Sony
    A cheaper price than other flagships on the market


  • Abdul Ghani

    definitely z4 with this tech but i hope sony dosent ruin this by their bad software

  • Anukul

    Rather z4

  • Guest
  • Anukul

    2/3 is too huge of a sensor size to believe it can be on a thin smartphone.

  • Kadek
  • xperiaDROID

    Z4 can have higher specs like Snapdragon 810 processor and more.
    That’s what Sony’s 6 month flagship cycle is all about, if the Z3 has almost the same specs as I mentioned, I will get the Z3.

  • xperiaDROID

    Hey, don’t throw money like that! This kid must be a super money waster when he grows up lol, papa mama must be careful of him.

  • zymo

    Z3 will have same specs like Z2 (almost). Just a bit “polished” design and some hw and sw gimmicks. Z4 will get big spec bump.

  • Tjaldid

    how thick is the camera module in Z2? and it is impressive if they can fit a Lumia sensor in a much thinner body

  • Hecateneko?????

    seems nice… would love to tear out my Z1’s camera module for this

  • Tjaldid

    the current Qualcomm processor I think has a 21MP limit while the S810 will allow for 50MP and I can well believe that Sony will go up to that Pixel count with a future Xperia

  • xperiaDROID

    That’s why I hate Sony’s 6 month flagship cycle. Just look at iPhone, I know it has mediocre specs but just look at the value of it. An iPhone a year, is what makes it the Top Gear.

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  • Nguyen Eazy

    RX1s will be the first to use curved sensor, so we won’t see it soon on the Z3

  • tjbsuicrtjh

    an impressive signal-to-noise ratio of 41.1dB

    How much is it on other sensors?

  • Tjaldid

    doesn’t the Z2 have one that sized? also these curved sensors are supposed to be thinner

  • RealityCheck2013

    It would be nice if we could get a Smartphone(that doesn’t look ugly like another branded Smartphone i won’t name) :D that give us really good quality ZOOMING :(

  • Kaostheory

    I call bs. I’ve bought more Sony phones than anything else. I hate the one year cycle, that’s a lot of faith in one company. If I need a new phone and don’t like the current year then it could be up to two years to upgrade. With the 6mo cycle I always have the best and can always wait a little longer for the newest.

  • Abdul Ghani

    You forgot 32 and 64 gb built-in storage

  • Faisal Armand

    Be very afraid, nokia lumias.. I sense this new 2/3″ 22MP sensor will beat your 2/3″ 41MP sensor. Smaller MP count on the same sized sensor will generate bigger pixel size and thus wider dynamic range, better low light performance, less processing to make amazing image quality, and finally with 6mm thickness it won’t generate oreo sized bump :-p

    I can only guess the amazing low light image quality from this new curved sesor. I mean.. Xperia Z2 which has 1/2.3″ sensor is already very good

    sorry, I can’t upload full size samples as the 8MP file is a bit too large

  • Tjaldid

    well just judging by sony reaching the limit of MP that the S801 allows i can bet they will go even higher with the next gen S805/S808/S810 which allow for 55MP

  • Jiyeon90

    It’s as thick as the phone, that’s why we got such bezels, they had to put it above the screen

  • zymo

    I would like to give you a +1 for your comment, but I have a problem with your statement “With the 6mo cycle I always have the best and can always wait a little longer for the newest”. Sadly that isn’t the case with Sony, you don’t get “the best” with the 6mo cycle, you get the best once a year! No new soc (Z3 still uses 801), camera, ram, rom….just a few gimmicks like 4K recording (for 10minutes lol), 720p slow motion and now Z3 gets an IR Blaster. It like german car companies releasing a facelift model every 2-3 years after release.

  • Ethan ‘blaze’ Parker

    S805 also has a limit of 21MP.

  • Tjaldid

    well there is the front and back cover plus possibly some metal sheet in there

  • Tjaldid
  • Faisal Armand

    Also, have you guys checked gsmarena’s latest camera comparison? I found it to be a bit odd as Xperia Z2 is regarded as only a bit better than iphone 5s and behind oppo find 7, LG G3, and Samsung Galaxy S5.

    I remembered on the last camera comparison even Xperia Z1 which has inconsistent and half baked camera software can easily beat galaxy note 3 which is one of the most detailed 13MP camera and LG G2. Odd, isn’t it?

    Also, I as the owner of Xperia Z2 is a bit buggerred by gsmarena’s latest camera comparison. I thought to myself, “damn, is the z2 really that bad?” then I went to my local phone store and I took the opportunity to compare the camera of my z2 and the store owner’s LG G3. And you can see it yourself that the result is the complete opposite of gsmarena’s test results (I put both phones on auto mode) Z2 is more detailed, had better colours, and less noise.

    maybe gsmarena intentionally post processed z2’s shot and add noise reduction to blur the details (in a way that didn’t change exif data)

    ALL OTHER TECH REVIEW SITE and even photography dedicated site declared Z2 as the best camera on android smartphone except gsmarena, damn I lost my faith to the site I usually trusted the most.

  • Prateek Bhanushali

    I cannot be, Even last generation phone Lumia 1020 had 41MP sensor on a dual core Snapdragon !!!

  • Alex Norris
  • Darren Gaspé

    This cycle produces evolutionary changes not revolutionary

  • Freepat 75014

    Very strange Video definitions… Most seam totally useless as non-standard vs TVs, I would have expected std 4K = 3840 x 2160 both un 60fps and 30fps, and may be 24fps too. Why not there ?

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  • Abdul Ghani

    TBH the z1 z1c and z2 should kill other brands but they either come close or beaten by other brands sony should give good camera software which they lack since the launch of xperia z

  • Faisal Armand

    But L1020 has a shot to shot time of 5 second, which is a pain in the as$.

    Yes, you can go over the limit but shot to shot time will be excruciatingly painful

  • Abdul Ghani

    if sony uses 805 in z3 a big mp count would be nice but z3 has same 801 and 20.7 i hope sony improves the software and kill other brands with their current 20.7 mp sensor but z4 will have this curve tech and 810 processor

  • Faisal Armand

    Dude, I own Z2. I know how good the camera is.. I’ve compared it against galaxy s4, iphone 5s, and lg g3 and Z2 easily beat all of them in terms of camera quality

    Even people who owned Xperia Z1 and criticised its image quality praised the image quality of Xperia Z2

    I think I need to remind you that all tech sites and even dxomark which is a dedicated photography site declared Z2 as the best camera on android smartphone. Only gsmarena and phonearena say the otherwise.

    I also find it funny that people trust gsmarena more than dxomark. Especially how gsmarena do camera comparisons, it took place on the same spot over and over again, again, and again.

    dxo tested smartphone in 400 different scenes from all light levels then assesed them one by one, it is one tough job

  • Kaostheory

    Funny thing is if you go back, compare the iPhone 4 to the arc, the arc looks way better and had a bigger screen. My T looks and performs better than the S3. Although Sony might not have all the best specs it’s the most complete phone on the market. I’ve been using my Z1 in the hottub (control music or watch videos) listen to fm all day at work and still battery to spare at 10pm. Can’t do these things with any other phone.

  • roeshak

    No point arguing with this guy, he’s here just to cause confusion. If he believes gsmarena then that’s his problems. My tests show different results and so did yours. Just forget this guy

  • Faisal Armand

    Great. Xperia Z2 is the best camera on android smartphone, PERIOD

  • Anukul

    no , z2 is 1/2.3 . This one is 2/3 = 1/1.5

  • to have more than 21 mpx they need the Snapdragon 810 that is up until 55 mpx ! It only be available in the next year! unless they use the MediaTek’s new MT6795 chip

  • Haidar Alamir

    Sony uses a different ISP than the integrated with the processor. It comes from the same family that is in Mirrors and DSLRs, and called BIONZ™. basically they have dual ISPs

  • aac

    I didn’t even read that article.

  • Looser99

    Curved sensor or not, Sony’s camera sucks and will always suck until they fix their image processing algorithm. The irony is Apple, Samsung, Lg, HTC and many other manufacturer, all are using Sony’s camera sensor and look at what they have achieved. Ignorant and arrogant Sony never have learned until now because they are adapting many good things now a days. Like they have adapted IPS display panel and added the Apps To SD card feature. They are providing great batteries too. Hopefully they will be able to fix the camera too…

  • AsadMulla

    I understand what your saying but even apple launch polished only phone after one year such as the 4s and the 5s. Not major upgrades just a bit better

  • Abdul Ghani
  • Abdul Ghani

    Some people live in denial and deny that the camera software is poor many websites have proove and showed proof that xperia 20.7 hardware is top class but only the post processing and compression in the software ruins the picture quality that I want removed from the software automatically Sony will be gods of camera smartphone

  • Abdul Ghani

    keep trusting dxomark s5 is best for them now ahahahahaha

    and this site who claims all sony phones has bad camera software

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  • Clarence Alvarado

    That’s not the video resolutions it talks about. It’s just the resolution of what the sensor can be viewed into the screen. Think about the refresh rate

  • Afzal Zainal Rddz

    I dont think this new sensor will be available inside z3 cause the prototype already leaked. Maybe z3 more to sound chip and imaging processing enhanced comparing from the current z2 had. Maybe it was made for z4 but will z4 running the new mediatek processor?? Cause sony already planning using mediatek for their 5 upcoming device release. What i like about about sony that the question will be answer ed in every 6 month cycle. :-)

  • Faisal Armand

    About dxo, look again.. Z2 beats S5 in photo quality

  • Dark Moyan

    8K video recording!!!!

  • Lucian

    Because of curved sensor its lens doesn’t need to be that big (less lenses compared to flat sensor). As it is written in the article whole lens is 6mm thick so it just might be possible but according to this xperia z? will probably be around 8-9mm I’d say..

  • Guest That Guesses The Guest

    Maybe Abdul just trying to say that it’s the best but could be better

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  • HardyHarHar

    “fingers crossed we don’t have to wait too long.”

    Sorry but you’d be waiting longer… Current snapdragon processors only support up to 20.7mp and this one is 22mp. Which means we’d have to wait until the 64bit processors of qualcomm gets released. Or (hopefully not) if sony decides to use mediatek processors on a flagship device.

  • F1.2?!

    f1.2?! f1.2?!?!?! =O


    Please provide some reliable source stating that Sony is using their BIONz processor in their CURRENT Xperia line. Be it physical chip or software emulated. I could not find any sources stating so.

  • BLUR

    your image is very blur imho lol Be it smudge on your Z2 lense, smudge on building’s glass or motion blur..

  • xperiafan324

    Sounds promising, if Sony could get this to market by 2015 (SAR says they’re ready for production so H1 2014 Xperia hopefully), then they would truly become undisputed kings of mobile imaging. a 2/3″ sensor with 22 MP resolution is easily TOP-END compact territory, here’s hoping Sony also gives it a painfully, blindingly, immensely powerful flash as the cherry on top.

  • xperiafan324

    Look at all the s805 sporting devices, they have 2k screens (an overkill in and of itself imo), so all that marginal extra power means nothing, and a 2.5 GHz S801 with 1080p screen will probably still outperform a 2k+s805 combo.
    Sony’s smart for not jumping on the 2k bandwagon, power consumption is way too high, overheating issues are plentiful, and similar to the first crop of 1080p screens (Oppo, HTC, Sony’s Z) contrast, colors (basically everything other than ppi) suffer dearly.
    JDi’s 2k screens, not to mention their 1080p RGBW OLED will be ready by 2015, and I’d much rather take that sexy OLED screen over a pixel bump that I won’t notice.

  • xperiafan324

    That’s exactly what the 6month cycle is about, it isn’t intended as an upgrade to those who just bought a phone 6 months ago, it’s intended to get as many new people to buy the Xperia as possible. The 6 month cycle is supposed to mean that whenever you upgrade, you’re getting the most bang for your buck (and honestly if you compare Sony’s offerings with other manufacturers, you always are).

  • Khillo81

    According to this it seems this sensor is slated for the Xperia Z3x which is more camera-oriented (also will apparently sport the Snapdragon 810 chip):

  • Husam

    You are absolutely right man… GSMarena always talks badly about SONY Xperia phones… for example, they said that the Z2 bezels are HUGE and the SGS5 has very thin bezels! c’mon GSMarena! that the hell are you talking about?! even the htc One has a ridiculously huge bezels and they didn’t even mention them!
    Their reviews aren’t reliable anymore!

  • Abhijit Biswas

    Snapdrgaon 800,801 and 805 also support 55MP cameras, check qualcomm’s site properly……..

  • Alvin

    That sensor size… As big as 808 pureview at 1/1.5″
    Now i see a beast of a cameraphone

  • Charlie

    Overheating issues? Uhm, Sony is the King of overheating issues. I have a Z1, I love it to death, but I hate how hot it gets. I sometimes worry if one day my bed will catch fire by how hot this this thing gets. You can play a game and it will get crazy hot, you’ll stop and put it on your pocket and it just won’t cool down.

    Using the creative effects feature thing (another gimmick) makes the camera shutdown due to heat in no time. The 4K on the Z2…

    So let’s not act like Sony gets heat right, they absolutely suck at it. I love the phones, my next phone will probably a Z3 or Z4, but it’s probably the biggest downside of a Sony phone.

  • Charlie

    Sony Xperia Z1 with 20.7-MP Camera Featuring G-Lens and BIONZ Image Processor Launched

    Guess it could be some weird marketing talk also. I’m not sure if the current Qualcomm chips can handle more than 21mps either, but the Z1 does supposively use some kind of BIONZ technology.

  • Faisal Armand

    I mounted my Z2 on my tripod to enable low ISO and 1s shutter speed (wonder does anyone know about this?) and it was very windy at the hotel’s balcony..

  • Charlie

    It’s still no innovation though. Blame it on Qualcomm, sure. But it’s the Z2 in a different housing. With new software that they’ll be keeping away from it’s current smartphones (and current users) to try to force people to buy the new phone.

    That’s not innovation, that’s a fake way to act like you’re innovative.

  • Faisal Armand

    As for the bezels on the S5 and Z2.. Z2 has screen to body ratio of 69.17% while the S5 isn’t actually far ahead with 69.78% but gsmarena states Z2’s bezel is much larger. LOL, I think they didn’t count Z2’s side bezels (which has been notably shrunk down compared to Z1’s)

    As for the camera, gsmarena always says bad about sony’s camera which is contrary to other tech sites and photography dedicated site.

    And there is something suspicious about their photo compare tools. ALL SONY PHONES ARE LOUSY except Xperia T2 Ultra. But when I see anandtech and one particular russian tech site (forgot its name) photo compare tools, it’s a hell of a different story. Even Xperia Z1 is able to beat Samsung Galaxy S5 when it comes to detail preservation. And Xperia Z2 is AT LEAST AS GOOD AS LUMIA 1520

  • Bbeast
  • xperiafan324

    No one said the Xperias don’t overheat, no one has said that. But compared to something like the LG G3, you’re in a MUCH better boat, gsmarena reportedly had to let the phone cool down between benchmarks, that’s just unheard of. The Z line heats up, it does, but as far as I am aware it’s only the camera app that makes it heat up so much that the app force closes, read up about the new “features” that you want mate. I did, and it turns out that NONE of them are really very everyday use friendly.

  • xperiafan324

    Funny how the top-rated phone camera on DxOMark is the ‘ same ol’ 20 MP camera ‘

  • Charlie

    Didn’t say anyone said that Xperias don’t heat up. And I don’t want new features. Because you’re right, I don’t need 4K that turns Sony phones into a replacement for my radiator.

    All I’m saying is, it’s true that I don’t know how bad the LG G3 is. But I don’t buy a phone for benchmarking apps. But I do buy a Z1 and a Z2 for it’s camera, it’s pretty much the main feature. And it does make the phone crazy hot. And the camera app has to be shut down all the time just because it’s too hot. I don’t think I’m in a better boat at all.

    Check online how many people have trouble even charging the phone while using it, because it gets too hot and lowers the amps so much that it discharges while its on the AC (not USB!). Different chargers, cables, etc. Sony ain’t a different boat and it ain’t a better boat.


  • Charlie

    Side bezels? Do you mean the metal around it?

    They look at the whole phone while you look at a specific part of it? I’ll go with their logic. When they start shipping the Z2 without the “side bezels”, let me know.

  • Husam

    You are absolutely right…
    and whenever there is a good feature about the Z2, they ignore it or they don’t talk about it, like the digital noise cancelling and the fantastic digital image stabilizer… and when it comes to any gimmicky thing samesung comes up with, they can’t shut up about it! i think Samsung pays GSMarena LOL :’D

  • Alvin

    I mean as big as 1020

  • Alvin

    Trimaster LE?? Finally, an OLED Xperia…

  • Haidar Alamir
  • Hello

    That’s why Sony decided to include water cooling… Hot? Throw into water and the phone will be cooled down in no time.

  • Thiago Guerreiro Bastos

    How did you put 1s shutter speed?

  • Faisal Armand

    Mount your Z2 on a tripod then go to superior auto mode (night time) or choose night scene on manual mode.

  • Faisal Armand

    No, it ain’t the metal..

  • Thiago Guerreiro Bastos

    Thanks. I didnt know that superior or night scene had 1s shutter speed.

  • Siberian Messenger

    A hint for these pic: This so-called L55t is a custom-made model for China Mobile, and we can see that Sony’s flagship models for China Mobile always use inferior material (plastic frame) and there’s nothing to expect for these stuff.

  • Faisal Armand

    To enable 1s shutter speed, you have to mount the Z2 on a tripod first, then superior auto mode will detect a tripod (as shown on the image below) and enable low ISO and 1s shutter speed. If you handheld your Z2 then it’s no use, night scene and superior auto mode will choose high ISO and fast shutter speed instead

  • Husam

    Read the comment carefully…
    “Z2 has screen to body ratio of 69.17% while the S5 isn’t actually far ahead with 69.78%”
    the overall difference is barely noticeable, just 0.61%, not just the side bezels…

  • Charlie

    Ok, but what are “side bezels”?

  • Husam

    it’s the space between the side edge of the screen and the side edge of the phone itself.

  • roeshak

    I’ll be waiting for the phone that comes with this sensor. Until then, z2’s gonna have to do.

  • barney klingenberg

    either the equiv. focal length is wrong or the lens focal length is wrong

    2/3rd inch sensor is an 3.93x crop.
    7.83mm(from this article) x 3.93 = 30,77mm equiv.

    F1.2 is very very ambitious. the lumia 1020 that uses the same sensor size is F2.2.

    it’s actually an full stop faster which means the apertures has to be double the diameter.
    If they can fit this into an thin high-end smartphone i would be very impressed.

  • barney klingenberg

    luckily all those megapixels get wasted in the circle of confusion anyway with current sensorsizes and maximum aperture.

    Simple diffraction physics limit captured resolution of most phones.
    1/2.33 inch f2.4 to about 12mp anyway.

    And that is exactly why this sony technology is so exciting. The curved sensor seems to make faster lenses smaller and simpler. Leading to much higher resolution with moderately increasing sensor size.

  • chris

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  • Samson Okoro

    You should watch btekt’s latest review on overheating. You’ll see the Sony isn’t as bad as the Samsung S5 and galaxy note 3 even though those phones use plastic a better material to resist heat. I don’t agree with Sony’s 6 months cycle though, where i reside the z2 just got launched 1st week in July and now we r hearing of a z3. Very annoying strategy from Sony, hope it doesn’t backfire on them soon. Better they make a new z2 ultra and release that which is targeted for various consumers after 6 months of releasing the flagship like samsung does with the note series.

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