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)

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Galaxy Note 4
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Samsung Exynos 7 Octa, Octa-core, 1900 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3220 mAh(20h 3G talk time)

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68 Comments

1. itsdeepak4u2000

Posts: 3718; Member since: Nov 03, 2012

Still great as usual in photography.

36. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 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.

44. Penny

Posts: 1851; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

48. sobiet19

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 01, 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

67. KiwiRoundEye

Posts: 9; Member since: Apr 21, 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

54. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

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

2. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

what happened to great innovation isocell?

38. The-Sailor-Man

Posts: 1095; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

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

3. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 2014

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

7. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

how is it fantastic with poor low light shots ?

9. Dude2014

Posts: 448; Member since: Feb 12, 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.

10. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Lowlight is where the S5 falls behind others.

12. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

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

19. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

27. tedkord

Posts: 17356; Member since: Jun 17, 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.

33. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

55. g2a5b0e unregistered

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.

57. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

59. g2a5b0e unregistered

"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.

60. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

63. g2a5b0e unregistered

No idea what you're talking about.

32. nohatenofanboy

Posts: 515; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

so you think s5's night performance is acceptable ?

40. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

35. Lememurilo

Posts: 50; Member since: Oct 13, 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.

41. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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/51oas7fjq7ohq9ejjlgdhttps://app.box.com/s/cj371t7hs62tddzz13nphttps://app.box.com/s/ahqfbubvqn2nr582rr94 Z vs S5.https://app.box.com/s/avs1bnoz88r2qxf9kiyrhttps://app.box.com/s/hx0hkyvf7kfskwg1frj6https://app.box.com/s/8l72hgi9x90gb96n1nv1 Source : dpreview

51. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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

15. Genza

Posts: 576; Member since: Mar 12, 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.

29. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

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

21. Itchi

Posts: 7; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

42. MasterSyrron

Posts: 59; Member since: Dec 08, 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.

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