While Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus yesterday, there’s always more to learn about a phone outside of the official PR speak. Some of the minute details like component sourcing and smaller features, don’t usually make it into a big press conference, and as such we always tend to find these things out once people have units in hand. Speaking of which, now a little tibdit of information is coming to light that might affect the quality of your photos depending on which Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus you buy, and it’s likely down to the luck of the draw as to which components you’re going to get. Samsung is reportedly using at least two different sensors in its upcoming flagship phones, either a Sony Exmor sensor or a Samsung ISOCELL one.
Samsung’s own System LSI (System large-scale integration) group manufacturers a line of camera sensors called ISOCELL sensors. These sensors made their big debut back on the Galaxy S5 with some very mixed results, and since then they’ve been used in various models and variations of models of phones. The particular model that looks to be used in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is model number S5K2L2, which is a new model number that looks to be made specifically for Samsung’s newest flagship phones. Other units will be shipping with the Sony Exmor IMX333 sensor, which is an upgraded version of the Exmor IMX260 used in last year’s Galaxy S7 units.
The big upgrade on these units is all in the makeup of the sensors themselves; Samsung is using a new multi-image processing technology that’s similar to HDR+ on Google’s Camera, which is found in the latest Nexus and Pixel devices from the company. In the past Samsung’s ISOCELL components have not produced quite as good of results as Sony’s Exmor sensors, so it will certainly be interesting to see what differences there are between the two, if any at all. Both sensors feature the same specs; 12-megapixel sensors with large 1.4-micron pixels, an f/1.7 aperture lens, dual-pixel focusing technology and just about everything else that could make them as close as possible.