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Samsung Galaxy S10 could come with a newly unveiled 48MP camera sensor

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Samsung already had some excellent smartphone chipsets under its belt, now the South Korean company is adding camera phone sensors to its repertoire – a market that has thus far been dominated by Sony.

The electronics giant has unveiled (opens in new tab) two new high-resolution Isocell Plus image sensors for multi-camera smartphones – Bright GM1 boasts a whopping 48MP resolution, while Bright GD1 is a 32MP sensor.

Image: Samsung Electronics

Image: Samsung Electronics

Both sensors have 0.8 micrometer pixels, allowing more pixels to be packed into a tighter space, which in turn gives manufacturers the liberty to design smaller camera modules.

Coupled with Isocell Plus technology – which enhances performance for smaller pixels sizes – Samsung says they’re “the ideal solution” for the three, and now four, lens setups arriving on the latest smartphones (like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Samsung’s own Galaxy A9).

A brighter future

For sensors it's typically the case that larger pixel sizes offer better light performance, but Samsung is also using Tetracell technology to manufacture these new sensors. This allows four pixels to work as one and deliver the same light sensitivity as a pixel four times its size. By this calculation, Samsung says the 48MP and 32MP sensors will perform as well as a 1.6micrometer pixel sensor at 12MP and 8MP resolutions respectively. 

Another feature that Samsung has included is gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) for faster and more accurate shots.

The 32MP GD1 will also come with real-time high-dynamic range for better color and detail rendition in high contrast, low-light conditions.

Samsung plans on beginning mass production of the two sensors in the fourth quarter of this year, so we could potentially see the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10 flagship, or the foldable Galaxy X, feature high-resolution camera systems.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.