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Samsung is planning something big for the Galaxy S11

Samsung is planning something big for the Galaxy S11. (Image source: LetsGoDigital)
Samsung is planning something big for the Galaxy S11. (Image source: LetsGoDigital)
Samsung has been steadily refining the 12 MP camera sensor that it first introduced with the release of the Galaxy S7 in 2016. Now, renowned tipster Ice Universe has claimed that is set to change with a larger sensor being on the horizon. Do not get your hopes up about any 48 MP or 64 MP wonders though.

Ice universe is becoming something of a Samsung rumours guru with the volume of leaks he has been posting on Twitter. Previously, we reported that the Galaxy Note 10 would not be receiving Samsung's latest CMOS sensors, and now the renowned tipster has clarified this.

According to Ice universe, Samsung will equip the Galaxy S11, codenamed Picasso, with "a new large-size large-pixel CMOS" camera sensor. By contrast, the Note 10 will be the last Samsung smartphone to feature a 1/2.5" 12 MP sensor with a 1.4 µm pixel size. We expect to see an official launch for the Note 10 in Q3, with the S11 series probably arriving at the next Galaxy UNPACKED event in Q1 2020.

Samsung first used this type of ISOCELL sensor in 2016 with the Galaxy S7 series and the ill-fated Note 7, which it called the S5K2L1. The company has since made incremental changes to the S5K2 for the release of each subsequent generation of the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, with the Galaxy S10, S10+ and S10e all featuring the S5K2L4.

So, it appears that Samsung will release the Note 10 with the S5K2L4 or a revision of it, while it will start using more advanced sensors from the Galaxy S11 onwards. Speculatively, we doubt that the sensor in the S11 will be either the 64 MP Bright GW1 or 48 MP GM2 sensors that the South Korean company recently announced.

Samsung introduced a 1.0 µm pixel image sensor in 2015, upon which it has refined since. None of these iterations, like the Bright GM1 or Bright GD1, have found their way into Galaxy S or Galaxy Note smartphones yet.

Instead, Samsung has been selling these sensors to other OEMs, with the Vivo V15 Pro being an example of a smartphone that has the Bright GM1. Ice universe has also confirmed this, stating that Samsung will not use its cutting edge camera sensors in its flagship devices. Hence, we suspect that the Galaxy S11 will feature a different, and currently unannounced, ISOCELL sensor altogether.


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Alex Alderson, 2019-05-29 (Update: 2019-05-29)