Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with ISOCELL sensor (plus more samples)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha comes with ISOCELL sensor (plus more samples)
Yesterday, we showed you the first camera samples out of the 12-megapixel Samsung Galaxy Alpha camera, but we did not know much about the sensor. We are still trying to dig up more information on it, but Samsung has now confirmed that it’s using its own 12-megapixel CMOS image sensor with the ISOCELL technology and a native 16:9 aspect ratio.

ISOCELL is a technology that took years in development and it made a debut in the Samsung Galaxy S5 on a 16-megapixel Samsung sensor. Now, in the Galaxy Alpha we’re looking at some of the same features: ISOCELL (but on a 12-megapixel scale, and unknown sensor size) and phase-detection auto-focus.

In its official blog, Samsung promises that images taken on the Galaxy Alpha will come out “sharper than ever with natural colors.” Skipping the PR talk, though, we should say that ISOCELL brings a couple of important advantages over non-isolated photo cells used in traditional BSI sensors: first, crosstalk is reduced from 19% to 12.5% in ISOCELL, next, luminance signal to noise ratio improved from 150 lux to 105 lux, and finally, full well capacity increased from 5,000e- to 6,200e-.

So far, Samsung is not revealing much specifically about this 12-megapixel sensor, though. We’ve heard rumors that the Galaxy Note 4 might also feature a 12-megapixel ISOCELL camera (rumor says the Note 4 might have optical image stabilization, something that is not present on the Galaxy Alpha), so that is one possible reason why more information is not being released just yet. Good news is that the Note 4 is coming in just around three weeks, and - if all those whispers turn out true - we’ll learn more about this sensor soon.

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Galaxy Alpha
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1280 x 720 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    2.1 MP front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 5 Octa, 2GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB,
  • Battery 1860 mAh
  • OS Android 5.1 Lollipop
    Samsung TouchWiz UI



27. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I was pretty up on this phone until I found out that Samsung included a GoogleNSA processor in it -- a Cortex A5 core that is always on/always listening. No thanks, Samsung.

25. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Unrivalled photos and HDR. Simply beautiful (including the phone itself!~) and perfect...

23. erikngn

Posts: 35; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

These are some very good quality photos. As good as LG G3's, and Lumia 1020's. And I hope that Note 4 camera will be even better.

13. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Great photos. Samsung has a really great camera software, all they need is OIS and better low light skills to make the ultimate kickass cameraphone.

19. Carlitos

Posts: 707; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

I agree with better low light performance. But the GS5 proved OIS is obsolete with Samsung's own DIS.

12. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

what abous ois?

4. JMartin22

Posts: 2429; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I'm assuming the Alpha is a market test for what direction they plan to take the Galaxy S6 based on its response.

7. HouTexan

Posts: 462; Member since: Jan 08, 2012

Hmmm...that's actually a pretty smart guess.

3. majp89

Posts: 182; Member since: Jun 18, 2013

Finally, a mid-range phone with a decent camera. The size of the phone is appealing as well.

15. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

But first that have not SD. And let's see the battery life, too.

29. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

I be thinking size of the phone and you also get 32gb out of the box, that's better anyways, the phone is made for the iPhone users

30. TheGenius

Posts: 339; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

Its not midrange -.- Its amoled + high end exynos+ decent camera + premium metals and all the high end s5 features. If you are complaining about res or battery .. then I guess iPhone is a midrange too

2. JMartin22

Posts: 2429; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

This is easily the best mid-ranged phone produced to date, ever. But they should eschew that heart rate monitor for a second LED flash. My only real gripe with it.

6. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

The problem is that it's not really priced as mid range..

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

AMOLED screen, Exynos 5430 and ISOCELL make it borderline high end/top tier midrange.

9. rockers123

Posts: 137; Member since: Sep 08, 2013

Its not a midranger at all. Check the specs

10. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

I myself don't think it's a midranger. But many people seem to say so. But it's not very super high end either. Check the specs.

14. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Specs are good. But it's still midranger compare with this year's Samsung top-end phones. 'Don't be fooled , that iPhone 5s is top-end phone. It's midranger too.

24. vincelongman

Posts: 5843; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Actually this is currently the best Samsung phone this year (maybe excluding the S5 LTE-A) The 5433 has better performance than the 801/A7, and supposedly more efficient with its 20 nm process and A7 cores Except the "low" res (which is still higher than Apple's 640p)

28. j2001m

Posts: 3061; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Samsung can do nothing about the screen res due to the size of th phone limiting the battery that they can be included

17. hung2900

Posts: 966; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

In my country the supposed price is 2/3 the price of 32GB iPhone 5S. Not mid-range?

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Those photos are beautiful.

5. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Nothing like stoking the interest in camera sensors for Sammy's new toys.... The pic is impressive.

11. sar44

Posts: 278; Member since: Apr 14, 2014

waiting for tests, hope they fix rosines and oversaturate. need test also with lumia 1020

22. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

1020 still owns it.

16. torr310

Posts: 1751; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

I prefer 4:3 aspect ratio instead.

18. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

Imma wait for night shots bfore judge the quality. most of the phones does good at day-light shots

26. JC557

Posts: 1928; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

This was the one issue reviewers had with the GS5 is that low light photos weren't all that great. Hopefully Samsung will improve the lens or aperture a bit to help with that as there are times when using flash is not appropriate. They could also use larger pixels and maintain a high-ish MP count if they won't increase the sensor size.

20. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

I agree. Samsung's cameras on their phones are clearly the best!

21. DontHateOnS60

Posts: 872; Member since: Apr 20, 2009

Typical Samsung edge over sharpening still exists. They look great without blowing them up, but again, you're not looking at the details and you have no idea what the actual scene looked like at the time to judge coloring, exposure and dynamic range.

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