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'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

Related phones

Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)
Galaxy S7 edge
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3600 mAh(36h 3G talk time)

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50 Comments

1. spin9

Posts: 310; Member since: May 31, 2014

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

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).

52. Hypergy

Posts: 54; Member since: Feb 24, 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.

41. bubbadoes

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 03, 2012

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

2. sagemda

Posts: 34; Member since: Dec 20, 2012

Got s7 edge with exynoss and sonyimx 260 as aida64 says

3. kumarabhishek591

Posts: 150; Member since: Feb 22, 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

6. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

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.

32. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

Isocell better

4. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

5. Jorgemerino97

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

One of the things that I hate about Samsung :/

9. pandabear

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 08, 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.

15. Ruturaj

Posts: 1484; Member since: Oct 16, 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.

16. Jorgemerino97

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

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

17. pandabear

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 08, 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.

18. Jorgemerino97

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

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

42. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 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

28. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

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

29. Jorgemerino97

Posts: 70; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

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

8. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 400; Member since: Sep 29, 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.

11. bucky

Posts: 3774; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

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

12. dazed1

Posts: 786; Member since: Jul 28, 2015

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

23. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 400; Member since: Sep 29, 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!

38. joeytaylor

Posts: 957; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

I have an isocell

43. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 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

13. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

14. Macready

Posts: 1811; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

24. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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.

33. belovedson

Posts: 1060; Member since: Nov 30, 2010

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

37. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3944; Member since: Oct 03, 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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