The Korea Herald


At Lee Jae-yong’s order, Samsung Galaxy S10 series to feature powerful camera specs

Samsung to mass-produce industry’s most compact image sensor for full-screen smartphones in Q1, but refuses to confirm Galaxy S10 will adopt sensor

By Song Su-hyun

Published : Jan. 22, 2019 - 16:23

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In less than a month, Samsung Electronics’ 10th anniversary Galaxy phones will be unwrapped with breakthrough camera technology ordered by the firm’s leader Lee Jae-yong, who has shown a specific interest in the camera features, according to industry sources on Tuesday.

According to rumors from tech fans around the world, the upcoming Galaxy S10 series is expected to feature three rear cameras that deliver 12-megapixel, 16-megapixel and 13-megapixel resolution, respectively, and dual front-facing cameras. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

A senior official at Samsung familiar with the matter told The Korea Herald that the company is working on improving camera functions for smartphone photography that have been considered its weakness on the existing Galaxy phones.

Samsung phone camera capabilities were debated last year when Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong made a trip to Europe. During his visit to a smartphone retailer there, he reportedly asked about the personal preferences of a store employee, who favored the iPhone over Galaxy, citing the former’s camera features.

“The issue was about how the quality of pictures taken on the Galaxy smartphones was felt by individual users,” the Samsung official said. “Some users say Galaxy pictures are much more vivid, which is a reason why they prefer Galaxy phones, but some others say such vividness causes fatigue in eyes, describing the colors as being too sharp.”

Meanwhile, Apple’s iPhone seems better in creating sentimental photographs that are comfortable on the eyes, although the pictures could look less bright than Galaxy pictures, the official explained.

“So this is one point that we are seeking to improve within the Galaxy camera,” he added.

Meanwhile, there are speculations that Samsung could adopt the newest image sensor, branded “ISOCELL Slim 3T2,” which is the smallest image sensor for the smartphone camera module (approximately 5.1 millimeters diagonally) and that can deliver 20-megapixel resolution for both front and back cameras.

The latest image sensor has been designed for new “hole-punch” or “notch” screens that require smaller camera modules as the screen area gets larger.

The company denied the possibility of the new image sensor going into the 10th anniversary phones, but its announcement of mass production of the sensors coincides with the launch of the flagship Galaxy S models.

Last year’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ models both adopted ISOCELL Bright 3H1 on the front camera, and ISOCELL Frost 2L3 and Slim 3M3 (for S9+ only) on the rear main camera. Those ISOCELL sensors were launch early last year.

Furthermore, to improve the camera technology, Samsung is reportedly in talks to acquire Israel’s multicamera maker Corephotonics, which will mark Lee’s first case of a sizable merger or acquisition since he was released from jail in February 2018.

Corephotonics was founded by professor David Mendlovic at Tel Aviv University in 2012 and has core technologies related to multicamera such as optical zoom, low-light shooting and wide-angle photography. Apple was sued for infringing on its technologies last year.

By Song Su-hyun (