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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 teardown reveals that it uses Sony IMX240 camera sensor

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 teardown reveals that it uses Sony IMX240 camera sensor
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is one of the most powerful Android smartphones of the year with a zippy Snapdragon 805 system chip, but it also has one of the most capable cameras we’ve seen so far.

The 16-megapixel shooter manages to do well under all kinds of different situations, and stands out with its rich detail and very pleasing colors. Interestingly, though, Samsung did not disclose any details about the actual sensor used to achieve those results.

That’s interesting for one major reason - the Samsung Galaxy S5 was the first phone to feature Samsung’s own, in-house ISOCELL 16-megapixel sensor in lieu of Sony sensors used in earlier Galaxy S phones. Now, a teardown of the Galaxy Note 4 reveals that after experimenting with its own, Samsung camera sensor in the S5, for some reason, Samsung has decided to go back to using a Sony sensor.

The Galaxy Note 4 indeed comes with the 16-megapixel Sony IMX240, confirmed by names of components in a teardown of the phablet. Naturally, this is why we’re no longer seeing any talk about Samsung’s ISOCELL technology - it’s simply not present on the Note 4. And while the phablet features a fairly fast auto-focus, Samsung does not mention any details about phase-detection pixels on this new sensor (but it seems similarly fast to lock focus).

The IMX240 is a 1/2.6” sensor, nearly 15% larger than the average 1/3" sensor used in top-shelf smartphones. This works out to pixel size of the rather small 1.1 microns. Those, however, are mere technicalities, and what matters most is how the Note 4 shoots, and you can see more of its capabilities below:


source: IT168 (translated)

68 Comments
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posted on 21 Oct 2014, 07:38 8

1. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3714; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Still great as usual in photography.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:32 6

36. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Don't know how PA is so uninformed:
"after experimenting with its own, Samsung camera sensor in the S5, for some reason, Samsung has decided to go back to using a Sony sensor."

LOL@"experimenting".

Samsung is using Sony now BECAUSE OF THE OIS.
Samsung's ISOCELL is GREAT , but no OIS yet.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 12:29 2

44. Penny (Posts: 1647; Member since: 04 Feb 2011)


Sony's sensor seems to be better in more ways than just the OIS in my opinion. I think it handles details better, and it handles dynamic range MUCH better.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 12:59 1

48. sobiet19 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)


nop. korean ver and some other ver of note4 were used samsung ISOCELL with OIS
you can check your note4 camera sensor
dial * #34971539# and then press IPS Ver CHeck

posted on 30 Oct 2014, 21:14

67. KiwiRoundEye (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 Apr 2014)


Hi sobiet19, can you help me tell what camera is in my note 4
Here is that number you advised

slsi_s5k2p2_fimc_is

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 17:50 1

54. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)


And everyone doesn't know that SONY cameras are also in the LG G3 and iPhones act. Love MY Z1

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 07:43 3

2. rantao333 (Posts: 322; Member since: 21 May 2013)


what happened to great innovation isocell?

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:37 8

38. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


ISOCELL is GREAT. And there is more to come.
Simply no OIS yet.
Get it????

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 07:43 4

3. Dude2014 (Posts: 435; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


I prefer ISOCELL camera. Galaxy S5 camera is fantastic except its poor low light shots.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:04 21

7. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


how is it fantastic with poor low light shots ?

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:12 5

9. Dude2014 (Posts: 435; Member since: 12 Feb 2014)


I don't take photo at night or low light situation. But S5 camera is still fantastic even it has bad low light shots. In good lighting and HDR photography, no phone can beat it except Lumia 1020 or Nokia 808.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:15 9

10. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3535; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Lowlight is where the S5 falls behind others.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:25 15

12. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


fantastic camera can take good photos in any conditions....

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:58 3

19. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Absolutely the best camera is the one that has a good performance or at least acceptable in all conditions.

Smartphone is a multifunctional device it's your pocketable computer, multimedia device and so on.
That's why the camera should have a good performance in all conditions because the camera phones is not made for one specific person.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:04 2

27. tedkord (Posts: 10234; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


No, the best camera is the one that best fits the users needs. Otherwise, there would only be one model of high end camera that sold. Same with phones.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:23 1

33. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Do you know that the "USER" is not just one person? That's why I say the camera in a smartphone is not only made for one specific person.

The best camera is the camera that can meet all the needs of every type of user.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 19:56 2

55. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3714; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


You just showed your stupidity with that comment. You ever hear the phrase "you can't please everyone all of the time'? It's true. No camera will EVER fit the needs of every type user because people have different needs & some of those will always conflict with others. The best camera is the one you deem best for your specific needs. Period.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 22:36 2

57. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Typical samsung fans when there is someone who tells the truth that hurts their feelings, they will get angry and start using harsh words like uneducated person.

I'm sorry dude but we are not just talking about one user or what we like.

I can understand and agree with what you say if we talk about other things, such as which one is better for you waterproofing for durability or Stylus for fuctionality.

But we are talking about which camera has the best performance and to determine which one is the best we have to assess the overall performance.
And the one that has the best overall performance is the best camera.

A camera that has a good performance in all conditions would be much easier to satisfy every user compared to a camera that is only good in good light conditions.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 22:46

59. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3714; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


"Typical samsung fans when there is someone who tells the truth that hurts their feelings, they will get angry and start using harsh words like uneducated person."

Please explain to me where I did any of those things. No one over the internet has ever hurt my feelings, I'm definitely not angry, & I didn't use a single harsh word--unless you consider "stupidity" to be one. But, to be honest, your comment only continues to prove my point. You clearly don't understand that not everyone has the same photography needs. An uneducated person is actually someone who thinks that all people who prefer a certain OEM act the same way.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 22:52

60. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Please feel free to deny all the things that I have said, but one thing that i know for sure the desire to have something better it's a human nature that can not be denied by anyone.

posted on 22 Oct 2014, 02:19

63. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3714; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)


No idea what you're talking about.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:21 2

32. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


so you think s5's night performance is acceptable ?

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:53

40. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


For today's standards, of course not.
In low light the S5 AF is also slower than other phones with brighter lens / larger pixel / "special" AF like G3.

I'm not nocturnal, but I just want my phone camera is always ready for any situation and condition.

It is the main reason why we want a camera on our phones, because we need a camera that can be carried and ready for use at any time.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:32

35. Lememurilo (Posts: 26; Member since: 13 Oct 2014)


ISOCELL without OIS is better than Exmor without OIS in low light shots

No make sense compares a Exmor With OIS and ISOCELL without OIS.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 11:13

41. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Are you sure lets do some fair comparison
S4 Sony Exmor sensor, no OIS, F2.2 lens and 1.1 micron pixel size VS S5 Samsung ISOCELL sensor, F2.2 lens and also 1.1 micron pixel size VS Xperia Z Sony Exmor sensor, F2.4 lens, and 1.1 micron.

The truth is this comparison isn't fair for the Z because both the S4 and S5 has brighter lens.

S4 vs S5.
https://app.box.com/s/51oas7fjq7ohq9ejjlgd
https://app.box.com/s/cj371t7hs62tddzz13np
https://app.box.com/s/ahqfbubvqn2nr582rr94

Z vs S5.
https://app.box.com/s/avs1bnoz88r2qxf9kiyr
https://app.box.com/s/hx0hkyvf7kfskwg1frj6
https://app.box.com/s/8l72hgi9x90gb96n1nv1

Source : dpreview

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 14:47

51. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Now you can see that the ISOCELL isn't better than Exmor sensor in low light even when compared to first-generation of Exmor RS.

With/without OIS Exmor sensor always perform better than ISOCELL in low light.

The ISOCELL has better HDR than first-gen Exmor RS, but the second-gen of Exmor RS is clearly beats the ISOCELL when it comes to HDR features.
It's the first and until this day the only (AFAIK) mobile sensor that support HDR up to 4K and 13MP @30fps.

http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/new_pro/april_2014/imx214_e.html

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:36 5

15. Genza (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


Lol go to GSMarena and compare the full resolution sample of the Z3 and S5 you'll see that the Z3 has better detail than the S5
And when it comes HDR feature the second gen of Exmor RS sensor is better than ISOCELL.

The best thing about samsung is their image processing SW is one of the best in a smartphone that's why usually samsung phones is able to produce better result than most other phones with the same sensor and lens.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:08

29. UglyFrank (Posts: 1581; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Detail is one area and you would be surprised if the phone with the higher MP count had less detail

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 09:03

21. Itchi (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


It's poor low light shots are partly due to crappy automatic ISO software. Tip of the day: changing it to manual can somewhat improve the photo's.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 11:21

42. MasterSyrron (Posts: 59; Member since: 08 Dec 2012)


My wife has the S5, and the only thing she hates is the camera. She tells me it is slower than the S3 when snapping a photo. Otherwise, she loves the phone.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 14:32 2

50. wilsong17 (unregistered)


Tell her is she know the difference between 8mp and 16mp

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 07:44 12

4. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Sony makes great sensor period. That's why so many OEMs pick Sony's sensors.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 09:39 1

24. pwnarena (Posts: 1129; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


or it could be because samsung sold isocell sensors to lenovo and they couldn't produce enough on time to meet their own needs.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:06

28. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1888; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


I do think Samsung's ISOCell sensors are amazing. However, Sony's sensors are still really great that's why Samsung would use Sony's and still not ruin the Note's overall quality.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:41 1

39. The-Sailor-Man (banned) (Posts: 1095; Member since: 25 Mar 2014)


Samsung went this time to Sony, ONLY because of the OIS.
ISOCELL is better in many things, but have no OIS yet.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:18

30. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Sony makes great sensors period. but dont know how to put it in their own phones, period.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 11:22

43. MasterSyrron (Posts: 59; Member since: 08 Dec 2012)


You can just type the "."; you don't have to spell it out.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 07:46 2

5. Scarambay (Posts: 83; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)


It's like any OEM can produce great results with Sony's sensors but the Sony itself. Demand great? LOL.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 07:48 8

6. mokhtar (Posts: 405; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


sony be like : sensor for you , sensor for you .. sensor For everybody :p
because sony sensors are simply the best and awsome in low light .. s5 in low light is a big joke

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:04 6

8. nohatenofanboy (banned) (Posts: 515; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)


good job sony

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:31 4

14. Settings (Posts: 1467; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Its nothing new actually. Sony uses Samsung components, Sammy uses Sony components, Apple uses Samsung components. Everyone uses someone's tech.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:44

16. mokhtar (Posts: 405; Member since: 06 Jan 2014)


sony uses samsung components ? like what ?

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:49 7

17. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


The internal storage for example.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:58 4

20. Xenaz (Posts: 144; Member since: 28 Apr 2013)


internal storage, RAM, Samsung's storage and memory product is argubably one of the best in the market just like Sony imaging product.

Most moblie OEM flagship uses Sony image sensor + Samsung internal storage and RAM nowadays

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:56 7

18. poppy.a (Posts: 41; Member since: 24 Sep 2014)


"Everyone uses someone's tech".., apple has no tech

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:20

31. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


yeah, apple has no tech bcoz they dont want to take chances to have their own manufacturing... they are pretty much afraid of having any manufacturing

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:18 2

11. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 1989; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


sammy might just use the 20mp next year ,who knows.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 08:27 5

13. anleoflippy (Posts: 595; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


No surprise there. But damn Sony go fix your camera software algorithm already. Your camera software is being one of those Tsundere anime girls.

"I want you to take great pictures but I don't want to....it's not like I want to or anything"

And to top it all off, the picture quality comes out random. First capture is super good, some might say the best, then the second capture comes out cow feces.
Fix it.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 09:06 1

22. hboy857 (Posts: 349; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)


Tsundere anime girls. Ha ha ha good one. +1 for a good and entertaining comment.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 09:26

23. HomerS (Posts: 168; Member since: 19 Sep 2014)


Maybe it was a question of time and costs to produce and Samsung opted therefore for Sonys sensor, as the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro seems to use Samsung's isocell 16MP Camera with OIS.

pocketnow.com/2014/09/01/galaxy-note-4-camera-vibe​-z2

tech-boom.com/lenovo-vibe-z2-pro-photos-samsung-16​-mp-sensor-isocell/

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 09:48 2

25. CharlieSmile (Posts: 4; Member since: 16 Sep 2014)


The Camera is superb in low light and normal or sunlight.

'The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is one of the most powerful Android smartphones of the year'

Should read: The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is the most powerful smartphones of the year including versus other OEM iPhone 6/+

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 09:58 2

26. MANGUELPR (unregistered)


4 days ago in a review here i saw many Shamesum writing about how far ISOCELL been better than Sony and seating that the Note was shooting the best fotos because of ISOCELL some sayings Sony's was a crap and looking at you all now makes my day jajaj now because your crap Note 4 has nothing more than a Sony IX you all are sucking it and saying its fantastic.... Well fanaticism had yu all crazy.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:26 1

34. Ashoaib (Posts: 3229; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


yeah they are crazy... but it is also crazy that samsung can utilize sony's sensor quite perfectly while sony sucks as utilizing its own tech

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 10:35

37. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 580; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


Snapdragon versions have Sony sensors while Exynos versions have ISOCELL sensors. This also applies to Galaxy S5 Snapdragon and Exynos.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 12:42

45. Andrewtst (Posts: 608; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Snapdragon using IMX240 sensor, exynos using SLSI_S5K2P2. :)

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 12:57

46. samub (Posts: 34; Member since: 01 Oct 2014)


no ,two version uses sony senosr ,that's just misinformation.

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 12:58 2

47. samub (Posts: 34; Member since: 01 Oct 2014)


exynos and snapdragon both version uses sony sensors...
forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=56002667&p​ostcount=13

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 13:06

49. sobiet19 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)


korean ver of note4 were used samsung ISOCELL with OIS
you can check your note4 camera sensor
dial * #34971539# and then press IPS Ver CHeck

posted on 21 Oct 2014, 16:58 1

52. samub (Posts: 34; Member since: 01 Oct 2014)


it's not true , dont misinform people.just read the posts, korean exynos
version also uses sony sensor.
forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=55960194&p​ostcount=6

forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=55749031&p​ostcount=44

posted on 22 Oct 2014, 08:48

65. Andrewtst (Posts: 608; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


If exynos using Sony sensor why it never show IMX240?

Proof here where my Exynos show SLSI_S5K2P2.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=56085350&postcount=41

You the one misleading people.

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