Chinese smartphone maker Vivo is poised to shake up the industry next year with the launch of an unprecedented camera phone expected to be called the Vivo X100 Pro+ or Vivo X100 Ultra. According to leaks from Chinese social media, early prototypes of this flagship device contain a triple camera setup headlined by a staggering 200 megapixel sensor paired with a 4.3x optical telephoto lens.
If the rumors hold true, this would represent the first ever 200MP zoom camera on a smartphone. And with the power of both high resolution and optical hardware working together, test models of the X100 Pro+ are said to achieve up to 200x digital zoom with surprising quality. Of course, real world performance remains to be validated, but on paper this combination of megapixels and multiplier lens seems ready to redefine what’s possible with smartphone zoom photography.
The sensor itself, while unconfirmed, is believed to measure approximately 1/1.5 inches – truly enormous by smartphone standards. In all likelihood, it was developed by Samsung, who first unveiled 200MP camera sensor technology last year and has already shipped over 50 million units to customers in 2022. Physically larger pixels have always captured more light and detail compared to smaller ones, giving this rumored Vivio telephoto camera a significant imaging advantage over rival phones, even without considering its class-leading resolution.
If the early leaks are accurate, owners of the X100 Pro+ should expect crisp 10x shots thanks to what’s known as “crop zoom” – using only the center portion of the huge sensor to simulate optical zoom. This digital trick avoids pixelation or software guesses that normally degrade picture quality. Meanwhile, pushing further to 200x zoom would enter more traditional digital interpolation territory with progressively lessening returns, albeit starting from an unmatched baseline of visual data.
Of course, a state-of-the-art camera system requires an equally capable computing engine to quickly process huge 200MP images and video. Thankfully, the latest flagship Qualcomm and MediaTek chipsets contain upgraded ISPs (image signal processors) well-suited for the task. The rest of the X100 Pro+ hardware also looks to play in the ultra premium sandbox, if rumors of a 2K resolution display and 100W fast charging prove accurate.
Vivo itself has been pushing camera boundaries more aggressively than competitors in recent years, beating everyone to the punch with the first gimbal-style stabilization, front-facing periscope lens, and under-screen selfie camera. Now in 2024, Vivo once again aims to leapfrog its rivals by leveraging bleeding-edge camera specs like unprecedented megapixel count and multiplier zoom power. If initial testing continues progressing smoothly, global technology enthusiasts could be treated to this innovative new imaging machine by next Christmas. However, widespread retail availability outside of China remains uncertain.