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Could the Samsung Galaxy S7 camera have been even better?

Samsung has announced the mass-production of its new advanced camera sensor, which appears to have missed the launch window for its own flagship phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge will hit shops over the coming days, and early reviews (including our own) have been glowing. One particular stand-out has been the duo’s excellent 12-megapixel cameras, which are great in low light and can lock focus super-quick due to Dual Pixel technology.

However, it’s possible they could have been even better. While the Galaxy S7 range employs Sony image sensors, Samsung has just announced its own new 12-megapixel camera sensor.

Like the Sony equivalent, Samsung’s sensor features the kind of Dual Pixel technology you normally see in DSLR cameras. By employing two photodiodes for each pixel, the sensor puts each pixel to work in obtaining focus rather than the typical five percent of pixels or less.

One feature Samsung’s sensor has that the Sony equivalent doesn’t is Samsung’s own ISOCELL technology. This isolates the photodiodes in each pixel, which prevents light from bleeding across to neighbouring cells.

Would this have improved the quality of the Galaxy S7’s camera further? It’s tough to tell, but last year’s Samsung Galaxy S6 range featured a mixture of Samsung ISOCELL and Sony IMX240 sensors.

The performance was found to be about equal, as this SamMobile test showed, with the Sony sensor having the edge in daylight shooting and the Samsung sensor scraping a low-light victory.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S8

Of course, these are the next generation of sensors we’re talking about now, so the same result isn’t guaranteed.

Samsung says that its new image sensor is now in mass production, which suggests that it just missed out on the Galaxy S7’s launch window. Perhaps the Samsung Galaxy Note 6 will reap the benefits later in the year.


Would you rather Samsung had put the launch of the Galaxy S7 back to squeeze in its ISOCELL sensor, or do you trust that Sony came up with the goods? Let us know in the comments.

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