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The 108 MP sensor on the Galaxy S11+ will use 9-in-1 pixel-binning technology to devastating effect

The Galaxy S11+ will be a camera powerhouse. (Source: OnLeaks)
The Galaxy S11+ will be a camera powerhouse. (Source: OnLeaks)
The Samsung Galaxy S11+ will feature a 108 MP camera but it will not be the same one Xiaomi used on the Mi Note 10. Apparently, one major difference between the two is the fact that the sensor on the S11+ will use 9-in-1 pixel merging technology to achieve a 2.4µm pixel size, making it the most powerful sensor in the smartphone industry.
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It's been known for a while that the Samsung Galaxy S11+'s main camera will be a 108 MP sensor, but it was only just revealed last week that the sensor would be a different one from the ISOCELL Bright HMX Xiaomi used on the Mi Note 10. We hypothesized that the major difference between the two sensors could be the use of 9-in-1 pixel binning, and that appears to be the case.

According to popular Samsung leakster Ice Universe, the 108 MP sensor on the Galaxy S11 will, indeed, utilize 9-in-1 pixel-binning technology. Samsung calls its 4-in-1 process "Tetracell Technology", so there's a chance the company will follow the logical naming scheme and call this "Nonacell Technology".

A big issue with high-res sensors has been pixel size, as having so many pixels spread across a surface area inherently limited by smartphone sizes results in small pixel sizes. Pixel binning has existed to counteract that but, until now, both Sony and Samsung had stuck with a 4-in-1 merging process that doubles pixel size—typically from 0.8µm to 1.6µm.

While the ISOCELL Bright HMX on the Mi Note 10 uses that 4-in-1 technique, the 108 MP sensor on the Galaxy S11+ will go a step further by using 9-in-1 merging, effectively tripling pixel size to 2.4µm. This, of course, means that the S11+ will likely bring game-changing camera performance. The closest to that pixel size on the market right now is the 40 MP IMX600 Huawei uses on its flagships, using 4-in-1 merging to output a 2µm pixel size.

It also means that the S11+'s final shots will be 12 MP images.

We'd be surprised if the Galaxy S11+ didn't—at least—match the Huawei P30 Pro in low-light conditions, with the bonus of avoiding all the issues the Huawei flagship's RYYB filter introduces. 

Sadly, this sensor looks to be exclusive to the Galaxy S11+; odds are the S11 and S11e will feature different hardware.

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Ricci Rox
Ricci Rox - Senior Tech Writer - 1974 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I like tech, simple as. Half the time, you can catch me writing snarky sales copy. The rest of the time, I'm either keeping readers abreast with the latest happenings in the mobile tech world or watching football. I worked as both a journo and freelance content writer for a couple of years before joining the Notebookcheck team in 2017. Feel free to shoot me some questions on Twitter or Reddit if it so tickles thine fancy.
contact me via: @riccirox, LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 12 > The 108 MP sensor on the Galaxy S11+ will use 9-in-1 pixel-binning technology to devastating effect
Ricci Rox, 2019-12-15 (Update: 2019-12-15)