It's fair to say that cameras are the point of fiercest competition in high-end smartphones, with Google, Samsung, and Apple constantly one-upping each other. Samsung is showing off its latest innovation, which it calls ISOCELL 2.0. The improved image sensor cells will allow more light to be isolated in each chamber.
Ahead of the anticipated announcement of the company's new Galaxy S10 phones, Samsung has announced that it's developed a fresh camera sensor that could make its debut in the devices. The new ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is a 20-megapixel sensor that sports "the smallest form factor in the industry," purpose-built for use in devices with minimal bezels.
Samsung's top-tier devices are generally up there with the Pixel and the iPhone when it comes to camera quality, and the Korean electronics manufacturer seems set to further step up its mobile photography game. The company has announced that it's developed new 48- and 32-megapixel smartphone camera sensors which it expects to be in mass production later this year.
Sony has announced that it's developed a smartphone camera sensor with a silly-high resolution of 48 megapixels. The new IMX586 is apparently the world's first sensor to feature a pixel size of 0.8 μm — and those tiny pixels allowed for Sony to cram a whole lot of them into a component small enough to fit in a smartphone chassis.
MWC Shanghai started today and Samsung is on the floor making some announcements. The first one is the growth of its ISOCELL technology to become a standalone image sensor brand, with 4 new sub-brands that cater to different devices and markets. The aim is to make it easier for customers to recognize the main strength and features of future devices' cameras.
The 4 sub-brands are Bright for great low-light images, Fast for quick autofocus even in the dark, Slim for thin sensors that still deliver great photos in slim devices, and Dual which have combinations of different sensors to bring multiple features in one device.
Android manufactures have flirted with dual rear cameras for years. Previously it was for quasi-3D tech (see the ill-fated HTC EVO 3D), then for tricks like enhanced bokeh effects (see the slightly less ill-fated HTC One M8 and others), and now phones like the LG V20 are combining different lenses for different applications. Qualcomm hopes to capitalize on this trend with its Clear Sight dual camera processing tech.
Sony is becoming less and less of a factor in the smartphone world, but their camera sensor modules are second to none. You can find Sony's Exmor camera sensors in more or less every high-end phone on the market these days, including Samsung's Galaxy line and the iPhone. So when the company announces a new high-end sensor, it's kind of a big deal. That's the case today: Sony's camera division has revealed the IMX318, a new sensor with more megapixels, tiny dimensions, and a host of built-in features.
The IMX318 uses 22.5 megapixels, which is a modest bump over the previous 20MP design.