Samsung has taken smartphone camera technology to an entirely new level with the announcement of two new camera sensors – the 48-mp ISOCELL Bright GW2 and the 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1.
Apart from the pixel count, the other equally impressive feature of the new camera sensors is that those use 0.8-micron pixels, which happen to be the smallest sized pixels currently used in any smartphone camera so far. The Galaxy S10 camera boasts of 1.22-micron sized pixels while the Pixel 3 makes do with 1.4-micron pixels for its 12.2 mp camera. And with both the phones having impressive camera capabilities, it goes without saying the new 0.8-micron pixels will do wonders for any device that it comes fitted with, particularly for low light photography.
The basic technology though remains the same, that of using four pixels to make one larger pixel, something that Samsung prefers to call as Tetracell tech. This has been known to produce incredibly clear images even when external lighting conditions aren’t too conducive for photography. Notably, Sony too uses a similar Quad-Bayer array technology on its flagship 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor that is used in many a flagship smartphone. Samsung meanwhile also stated the GW1 sensor supports real-time high dynamic range (HDR) to a max 100-decibels (dB) which tallies well with the perceived capability of the human eye at 120db.
However, Samsung’s new 48-mp ISOCELL Bright GW2 sensor is in direct contention with the Sony 48 megapixel IMX586 sensor while the 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1 comes across as the more up-market offering. Also, Samsung has the added advantage of using smaller sized pixels for better quality images. That said it remains to be seen if the Samsung sensor indeed delivers quality images as the specs on paper makes one to believe it’s going to be.
Meanwhile, there has been plenty of speculation if the new Galaxy Note 10 will come with the new gen sensors. Unfortunately, that seems least likely considering that the new sensors are scheduled to go into production later in the year and hence, might not be ready for integration on the Note 10. While that might be a bit disappointing for some, what seems a surety is the new sensors will be there on the S11 due for launch sometime during spring next year.