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Samsung’s new selfie camera sensor just consigned the notch to history

Samsung has announced a new, super-skinny camera sensor, designed for full-screen smartphones.

The new 20-megapixel ISOCELL image sensors can be used in the front or rear cameras arrays, but will find homes within smartphones with punch-out displays. The ISOCELL Slim 3T2 sensor offers 0.8μm-sized pixels, which the firm says will offer greater colour fidelity and the ability to absorb more light for more accurate colour representation.

Meanwhile, Samsung is also promising the sensors will be also compatible with telephoto lenses. Although, in its official press release, Samsung acknowledged the sensor would be great for handsets with notched displays, the solution is likely to further condemn the largely-unloved display trend to history.

Related: Best smartphone 2019

To its immense credit, the display specialists at Samsung never embraced the notch for Galaxy smartphones. Now, as was likely always the long-term plan, the company moving to punch-hole displays with the Galaxy S10 range, set to launch next month.

That device will also include an in-display fingerprint sensor, reducing the need for a complex, multi-sensor solution like Face ID within the iPhone X and up.

However, many of the manufacturers who initially relied upon a notch to improve the display to body ratio on smartphones are now moving towards punch-out holes the front facing camera and sensors can peek through.

Samsung says the ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is going into mass production in the first three months of 2019. However, it doesn’t reveal whether this is the sensor that’ll sit beneath that Infinity O display when the Galaxy S10 arrives on February 20.

“The ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is our smallest and most versatile 20Mp image sensor that helps mobile device manufacturers bring differentiated consumer value not only in camera performance but also in features including hardware design,” said Jinhyun Kwon, vice president of System LSI sensor marketing at Samsung Electronics. “As the demand for advanced imaging capabilities in mobile devices continue to grow, we will keep pushing the limits in image sensor technologies for richer user experiences.”

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