Samsung has announced an enhanced smartphone camera sensor that should easily outclass all rivals, including Apple’s iPhones.
Dubbed “Isocell GN2”, the impressively large image sensor is designed to deliver more detailed photos in lower light with greatly improved focus.
With an extra-large 1/1.12-inch format and huge 1.4micron pixels, Isocell GN2 is the biggest smartphone camera sensor to date (excluding hybrid devices like Panasonic’s Lumix CM1).
While the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera also boasts 1.4micron pixels, Samsung’s new sensor has much more of them. On paper, this gives the Isocell GN2 a big theoretical advantage over Apple’s flagship, especially in low-light situations.
Like its predecessor, the Isocell GN1, the new sensor features a high 50-megapixel resolution and is capable of producing 100-megapixel images with enhanced autofocus using Samsung’s Dual Pixel technology. Isocell GN2 upgrades this feature to “Dual Pixel Pro” which enables the autofocus feature to work in two directions instead of one in order to boost performance.
Why All Of This Matters
Larger image sensors like the Isocell GN2 gain a big advantage in terms of the amount of light they can capture in a single shot. This means the camera has to rely less on software-based image processing to produce a clean image in challenging situations.
The best performing cameras, according to Dxomark, all use large imaging sensors: Huawei’s class-leading cameras, for example, currently use the biggest camera sensors on the market at 1/1.28 inches. Close behind, in terms of size, is the Vivo X50 Pro+, which uses the Isocell GN1 (1/1.31 inch). Both of these examples outperform the smaller sensor of the iPhone 12 Pro Max in Dxomark’s tests.
It should be noted that Samsung prefers to use its higher-resolution Isocell HM range of sensors in its own flagship Galaxy S smartphones which emphasize zoom capability over pure image quality.
It remains to be seen whether partners, such as Vivo, are able to beat Samsung’s best once again by opting for the Isocell GN2, which is now in mass production.
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