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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

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

1. spin9 (Posts: 279; 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: 815; 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: 65; 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: 846; 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: 979; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


Isocell better

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 10:03 5

4. Macready (Posts: 846; 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: 59; 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: 1290; 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: 59; 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: 59; Member since: 05 Apr 2014)


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

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 18:12

42. j2001m (Posts: 2789; 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: 8511; 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: 59; 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: 220; 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: 2461; 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: 322; 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: 220; 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: 413; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


I have an isocell

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 19:09

43. catze86 (Posts: 618; 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: 2078; 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: 846; 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: 2078; 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: 979; 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: 2078; 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.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 19:10

44. catze86 (Posts: 618; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


Peopl dont like ISOCELL because it is not Sony.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 06:35

47. Arch_Fiend (Posts: 2078; Member since: 03 Oct 2015)


But people like samsung so why not like samsung made cameras that's so stupid.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 14:39

50. catze86 (Posts: 618; Member since: 07 Dec 2015)


It is just brand image. Majority people want Sony sensor, not Samsung.
Samsung at fault here,for not inform the costumers there are will be different sensor in the future. The buyers is not stupid. I do not too care about the camera sensors, thought. I need the DAC chip review.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 11:08 2

20. aho13 (Posts: 96; Member since: 10 Sep 2014)


Mine is Exynos with isocell , the 5% difference or even more in quality is not so important to me ,I like the fact that the whole parts are samsung made even if it is inferior to SD 820 or sony sensor .
I think samsung would not risk puting a different performance parts so rest assure that you will get 30 % in CPU and 64% in GPU more than S6 whatever version you get . and both camera sensors will have minimal difference .

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 11:19 5

21. John-Knotts (Posts: 52; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


It's not like Samsung are strangers to camera tech. This is a who cares story..

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 11:34 1

22. xondk (Posts: 1208; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


As long as they are functionally similar then there's no real problem, meaning you suddenly aren't losing a feature like ios or such. Got the exynos cpu and sony IMX260 sensor here, funny as it is, AIDA64 says that video stabilization is not supported?
Though it seems to work just fine?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 11:46 2

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


Something's wrong with the article when commenters know more and are correcting it.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 11:41 1

49. Kary1 (Posts: 300; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)


It's common with the tech press. There are no requirements to become a member of the tech press.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:30 1

26. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8511; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


OH BOY! Here is PA trying to start some BS.
The S6's all of them and the Note 5 also had this and when picture were taken, they showed no noticeable differences.

Stop trying to start a controversy for more clicks. It makes you evil.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:31

27. xondk (Posts: 1208; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Well the real issue would be the difference in GPU on the two different CPU's much more then camera's as long as they are identical in terms of features.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:41

30. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 8511; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


The difference int he CPU is due to compatibility with USA LTE.

Qualcomm chipsets are more compatible with out LTE networks in the USA. In Europe this isnt a problem and thus the Exynos works better.

Now last year, the Exynos was used for all USA models as well as Europe for the first time I am aware of.

The only issue I can gather is, battery life on the Exynos version is bad here in the USA, because the Exynos is not 100% compatible with USA LTE networks and causes the chip to work harder.

But in average day to day usage, you wont even notice any difference.

PA always has to try to put negative light on everything Samsung does. All OEM's use more than one company. Example, Apple uses both Sharp and LG to make this displays. They use Samsung and TSMC to make the CPU int he iPhone.

Yet PA has NEVER posted an article with the exception of the CPUs and they only drew attention to it because again, Samsung was being painted in a negative light because the claim was the TSMC was more efficient even though it was with the 3-5% tolerance. Also it depends on who did the test because other tests results showed Samsung had the more efficient chip.

Again this is PA's hateful way of trying to dis Samsung because they hate Samsung because Apple told them to hate Samsung and to make as many negative articles about Samsung...RIGHT PA?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:10

36. mrochester (Posts: 527; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


You are truly delusional if this is not a joke.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 13:31 2

39. joeytaylor (Posts: 413; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Is this your first day here?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 15:28

40. miket1737 (Posts: 2369; Member since: 17 Mar 2013)


techie you need a oxygen tank now?

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 19:47

45. xondk (Posts: 1208; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


You will note that I said GPU...LTE compatibility may or may not be a reason for choosing another cpu, which is fine, however the GPU is apparently quite significantly weaker then the one the snapdragon version of the sgs7 gets, meaning that people are paying the same but getting an inferior product GPU wise.

Now it is still plenty powerful but it does come into question in terms of how it will hold up in the future, I'm happy with my sgs7 edge, no doubt, but I think Samsung should do what is right and offer some compensation for those that have the applicable devices with exynos processor, how much and what is something I don't know.

Maybe allow offer an x value voucher for something, oculus store? their own? google play?
So yeah, point is CPU isn't the problem, it is the GPU that comes with said CPU.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:46

31. Trakker (Posts: 283; Member since: 11 Feb 2016)


Trying to find out which camera my S7 has but under devices in AIDA64 it says it has no cameras.

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:58 1

34. belovedson (Posts: 979; Member since: 30 Nov 2010)


Paul k do some dang research before writing the article. It's clear the isocell is a better chip

posted on 09 Mar 2016, 12:59

35. ciprian.ruse (Posts: 292; Member since: 13 May 2014)


Also different GPU's... Snapdragon one has a much better GPU(almost twice as fast as the GPU in exynos variant).

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 01:00

46. gillharman (Posts: 2; Member since: 09 Mar 2016)


Samsung at it again... ships low quality/cheap/inferior products to third world countries and best/superior products to US. customers doesnt have a say in third world countries. even if they go to the court to file a legal suit against sumsung nobody will take an action against them. Companies like Samsung care less abt these things. And ofcourse they cant afford playing such games in US. they'll face legal battles, customer bashing if they ship inferior product there.

posted on 10 Mar 2016, 11:39

48. Kary1 (Posts: 300; Member since: 26 Jun 2015)


This is yet another reason I no longer buy Samsung products. They do the same thing on their TVs--you don't know what screen you're going to get.

posted on 11 Mar 2016, 00:41

51. zibbyzib2000 (Posts: 221; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)


I guess they're taking the Android motto of "Be together, Not the Same" a little too literal.

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