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Déjà Vu: Samsung shipping Galaxy S7 units with different camera sensors

Déjà Vu: Samsung shipping Galaxy S7 units with different camera sensors

So, the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge have been announced, everybody is in awe, pre-orders are rolling, and the first handsets are already landing in the hands of their earlybird buyers. And it seems that the upgraded camera together with the IP68 certification, are the two hottest reasons why some users would interested to upgrading to one of the two new Galaxies. Unfortunately some of said users may be slightly disappointed.

Some of the new Galaxy S7 and S7 edge owners have ran some benchmarks on their new handsets and checked them up with apps, such as AIDA64, which gives you detailed information about the phone's hardware. Unfortunately, it turns out that while some units ship out with the Sony-made IMX260, others may turn up with a Samsung ISOCELL sensor.

This is not the first time we've seen such switch-ups. The same happened with the Galaxy S6 / S6 edge, as well as the Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell which sensor a handset has when buying it, unless the store specifically allows you to run AIDA64 on it. Generally, it is believed that the US versions of the smartphones will get the Snapdragon 820 SoC and the Sony IMX260 camera sensor, while the rest of the world will get the Exynos processor and

Samsung often switches between Sony sensors and ISOCELL sensors between production batches

Samsung's ISOCELL sensor. However, some conflicting reports suggest that the camera sensors are not region-specific. In fact, we have two Exynos models on hand, which are both equipped with a Sony IMX260, so it's probably more about production batches and readily available sensors than specific models.

So, is this a big deal? Well, yes and no. Samsung's ISOCELL may be just as good of a sensor as the IMX260. And we can't really call false advertising, as all Samsung has officially said about the cameras is their specs, such as resolution, pixel, sensor, and aperture size, all followed by some superlatives. The difference between both sensors may even be negligible or non-existent for all we know at this stage.

But until this is proven to be so, some customers will definitely feel a bit wary. Is that $650 smartphone going to take the exact same pictures as all the others? If not – is that a bit of a rip-off? It's worth noting that iPhone 6s buyers were faced with the same dilemma, when it became known that some iPhone 6s units come with a Samsung-made A9 processor, while others had a TSMC one instead. These have small differences in construction, performance, and battery life, and while they are not vastly different, informed buyers often prefer to have the TSMC chip inside their brand-new iPhone 6s.

Would you be disappointed if you unbox a Galaxy S7 / S7 edge that turns out to have an ISOCELL camera?


source: XDA Developers (1, 2); Reddit via Android Authority

50 Comments
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posted on 09 Mar 2016, 09:46 17

1. spin9 (Posts: 310; Member since: 31 May 2014)


This again? Give me a true comparison between the two sensors and then I'll decide

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:15 24

7. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


The comparisons will come and the difference will be negligible at best. You can produce more difference in the shot by changing settings.

The sensors have always been the same(except the case of S4, where 2 different Sony sensors were used). It's the same custom sensor, one is Samsung fabbed, one is Sony fabbed. There is no Sony sensor named IMX 240 or 260. They are just custom sensors exclusive for Samsung. IMX240 was Sony fabbed ISOCELL and this will be the same. It's done because Samsung doesn't have enough yield to produce all of them, so it offloads some of the sensors to Sony, which arguably has the better manufacturing prowess in sensors.

The difference between the 2 sensors should technically be zero, as they are the same. But even in different batches, the quality varies(silicon lottery).

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 15:00

52. Hypergy (Posts: 54; Member since: 24 Feb 2016)


Yup, and ill go further and say that ISOCELL BRITCELL from Samsung gives better images as could be seen XDA Forums various posts by users.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 16:27 1

41. bubbadoes (Posts: 1225; Member since: 03 May 2012)


the sony sensor is better! thats all you need post 1

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 09:58

2. sagemda (Posts: 34; Member since: 20 Dec 2012)


Got s7 edge with exynoss and sonyimx 260 as aida64 says

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:00 3

3. kumarabhishek591 (Posts: 112; Member since: 22 Feb 2014)


Preordered my s7 edge silver titanium but i am really worried about battery life on exynos and also hope i recieve imx260 because in past sony sensors have produced better pics than samsung isocell

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:13 15

6. Macready (Posts: 1443; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


According to Tweakers.net, Wifi browsing battery life on the Exynos S7 was exactly 18% longer @ 250 nits brightness, than on the Exynos S6, which is the difference in battery capacity too.
For video's @ 250 nits, that was about 28% longer.

For the S7 Edge vs S6 Edge+, they recorded 39% longer browsing time (20% larger battery capacity, slightly smaller screen) and 31% longer video endurance.

Nothing to worry about there.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:19 6

10. tyrionTheWise (unregistered)


I have the IMX240 variant of S6 and I think the ISOCELL one is better in color seperation.

http://www.sammobile.com/2015/05/05/heres-the-difference-between-samsung-and-sony-camera-sensors-on-the-galaxy-s6-and-s6-edge/

I would like to see comparisons before judging.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:54

32. belovedson (Posts: 1050; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


Isocell better

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:03 5

4. Macready (Posts: 1443; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


"informed buyers often prefer to have the TSMC chip inside their brand-new iPhone 6s"

Not at all, because there are conflicting reports pointing to either one being better, or both offering the same efficiency and speed for all practical purposes.
See for example here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/iphone-6s-a9-samsung-vs-tsmc,30306.html

The Sony and Samsung sensors in the S6/Edge/Note 5 models, eventually turned out to give identical performance too. There were only slight color/gamma profile (software) differences at the time of release, which were equalized after a few weeks.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:03 4

5. Jorgemerino97 (Posts: 68; Member since: 05 Apr 2014)


One of the things that I hate about Samsung :/

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:18 18

9. pandabear (Posts: 4; Member since: 08 Mar 2016)


So do you hate all manufacturer's too because they all do the same. It's called procurement and this is how large OEM's do business in order to fullfill large orders. Samsung and Apple are the largest manufacturer's of smartphones in the world. Apple uses two different processors from different company's in their iPhone 6 lines.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:40 10

15. Ruturaj (Posts: 1482; Member since: 16 Oct 2014)


Never mind, no matter what some people would always be like this. IMO camera sensor is negligible part, what I hate is use of different SOC and different rom for different regions, carriers. I think all S7 phones should have same rom so updates would be faster.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:42 2

16. Jorgemerino97 (Posts: 68; Member since: 05 Apr 2014)


Not all manufacturers do the same... look at Huawei, Sony, LG, etc. So, please before coment something, check if it's correct.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:45 8

17. pandabear (Posts: 4; Member since: 08 Mar 2016)


Because they're not as big and they don't move many units. Apple and Samsung are the largest smartphone manufacturer's in the world.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:53

18. Jorgemerino97 (Posts: 68; Member since: 05 Apr 2014)


mmmm good point, but... different Soc and different sensors? :/

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 18:12

42. j2001m (Posts: 3004; Member since: 28 Apr 2014)


I think you find they will use a range of ram makes over the life of the model if sell the number needed , just to get started

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:33 2

28. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13806; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


So you hate for no real good reason. GOT IT! Go away hater!

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:40

29. Jorgemerino97 (Posts: 68; Member since: 05 Apr 2014)


LOL okey okey I don't hate, I dislike. But anyways, I want my next phone to be perfect.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:15

8. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS (Posts: 317; Member since: 29 Sep 2015)


Once again we see why Sony is the greatest force in Mobile. You can't touch the sensors of a Japanese craftsman God. Xperia X Performance, is going to change lives, along with the Surface Phone.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:25 1

11. bucky (Posts: 3075; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


lol i wont remember your username but i hope someone in these forums remembers your post.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:36 6

12. dazed1 (Posts: 520; Member since: 28 Jul 2015)


Hahahaah what a joke, Xperia phone change lives? with their subpar pathetic excuses of a displays? yea right.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 11:36

23. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS (Posts: 317; Member since: 29 Sep 2015)


Look at your at the phone your using now and tell us who made the sensor. Thank the Japanese craftsmen God, you can capture the moment. Sony make believe!

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:27 4

38. joeytaylor (Posts: 891; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


I have an isocell

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 19:09

43. catze86 (Posts: 729; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


Really. Japan only good in Automotive and Sound engineering. The only Japanese camera I ever have is a very old Asahi Pentax my father have bough in Idaho 30 years ago. I buy Sony because of Walkman brand

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:36 5

13. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3342; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


Samsung's ISOCELL was better than sony's sensor in last years S6, S6E, E+, and Note 5, If i remember correctly the Sony sensor had a blueish tone to it.

Going by last year, I would much rather have Sammy's ISOCELL.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:39 5

14. Macready (Posts: 1443; Member since: 08 Dec 2014)


No, they had slightly different color/gamma profiles (which has nothing to do with the sensors, you can create any color within the Adobe profile with practically any RGB sensor, a matter of software profiling after the fact) at the time of release, which was equalized after the first firmware update.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 11:45 1

24. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3342; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


There is a blue tint like I said, there might be other differences as well but I knew Sony's camera had a blue tone/tint.
http://www.androidauthority.com/galaxy-s6-features-either-isocell-or-sony-cameras-606222/ 4th pagraph from the bottom starting with word perhaps.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:56 2

33. belovedson (Posts: 1050; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


How unfortunate that people don't read this. But I agree isocell is much better

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:14

37. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 3342; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


IRK, It's sad that people like comments that sound good, like post #14, instead of the truth. Also the comparison I linked was done after the first update, which proves it was the sensor not the software that was at fault for the blue tone in pictures captured with sony's S6 camera.

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