Samsung outs slim 12 MP and 24 MP camera sensors, ripe for the Galaxy S9

Next-gen flagships from Samsung may come with slimmer camera sensors, or ones with higher, 24 MP resolution, and maybe both. Samsung issued a press release to announce two new puppies in its ISOCELL portfolio. The Dual Pixel ISOCELL Fast 2L9 comes with the typical 12 MP resolution that you see in flagships like the S8 or Note 8, but with smaller, 1.28μm instead of 1.4μm pixel size. 

This might mean camera areas flush with the rear surface of the phone, or more space for another module in a dual-camera configuration like on the Note 8. What's intriguing about this new 12 MP unit is that it will use Samsung's Dual Pixel tech not only for ultrafast focusing, like what high-end Galaxies are using it for now, but also for achieving depth-of-field effects with just one sensor, like what Google did with the Pixel 2 and its portrait mode.

The other new sensor is the 24MP ISOCELL Slim 2X7 beast, and that would be a record resolution for Samsung when it makes it in a phone. The Slim 2X7 is apparently the first sensor in the industry to have a pixel size below 1.0μm. Before you scoff at the new 0.9μm size that on theory would mean less light being captured by each individual pixel, Samsung was quick to clarify that it has enhanced their isolation, so there is less noise and color crosstalk compared to previous sensors with smaller pixels. 

This would allow for the 24 MP Slim Jim to be fitted in the thinnest of Samsung smartphones, or combined with the new 12 MP one in a dual camera set that may take less space than the kit in the Note 8. Since the Galaxy S9 is heavily rumored to sport a dual camera, one or both of these new ISOCELL sensors might make it in Samsung's next flagship phone.

source: Samsung

Related phones

Galaxy S9
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, Octa-core, 2800 MHz
  • Storage 64GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(31h talk time)



1. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

If there 24MP can take a better picture vs the 16MP in the S6, that would be awesome. Because for me the S6/S6 edge 16MP camera takes better daylight shots than the S7 or S8 and any Note after it. I don't understand why they couldn't keep the 16MP sensor and still have the same sized pixels as the S7 and S8 have. Now they will and that is gonna be one sharp high resolution photo. The Pixel also proves, you don;t need a dual lens setup to get telephoto quality. I knew dual lens was a gimmick. Maybe the sensors for the same wasn't ready with a single lens so they had to use 2. A year later now they can do it with one. Hopefully the S9 and Note 9 won't have dual lens setup.

13. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

Samsung, Motorola and Htc used to have higher MP. Then since iphone 6s ( 12MP) almost all OEMs used 12MP. I bet if Apple in 2018 decides to use 16 or 20 for example, many will too. I agree, shots of S6 do look nicer than s7 or s8.

25. Skimshaddy

Posts: 126; Member since: Feb 23, 2016

Downsize to eliminate the cost of making?

14. luis.aag90

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

I'm fine with the dual lens, they are not a must to get the portrait mode anymore but as far as I know are still a must to get the optical zoom capability without going for bulky lenses. I'm definitely all in for more resolution, though

15. letosaw

Posts: 135; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

They couldn't keep the same 16MP resolution because they increased pixel size (from 1.1um to 1.4um). Higher megapixel count + bigger pixel size = bigger sensor, which would be costly for Samsung and rear camera protrusion would have been even worse compared to S6.

16. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

I wouldn't have any issue with a camera like the 41MP sensor on the Lumia. And you don't have o make the lens bigger. All they have to do is do as they do now. They use multiple lenses inside the sensor, and each lens provides a certain capability. The camera sure would have been larger looking on the outside due to the optics, but it wouldnt have been that much bigger.

19. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1603; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

The pixel 2 has done nothing to show you don't need a telephoto lens. It proved you don't need 2 lenses for depth of field effects.

20. Cod3rror

Posts: 142; Member since: Apr 06, 2013

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who noticed that. Galaxy S6 has much better, detailed and clearer daylight images than either the S7 or S8. S6's RAW images are seriously impressive! Bordering Nokia 808 PureView quality.

2. gnppw

Posts: 95; Member since: Jan 28, 2014

and now that you dont need the second camera for the potrait mode, please replace it with a wide angle camera like LG please

7. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

I'd much prefer they further enhance the telephoto lens to say 3x zoom or more. I've made several use of the optically stabilized telephoto lens on my Note 8 and it really helps. Most recent being at a conference, where I was sitting far back in the croud and recording video of speech presenters on stage, and videos from an overhead projector. In both cases, it could have been better if it zoomed further, but would have been far worse if it only had an even wider angle lens.

17. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

I rather they fine a way to fit a optical zoom lens like the camera on the S4 Zoom into the same housing as today's camera.

21. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1603; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

That would be incredible but I don't think the technology exists yet.

10. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

I still think the telephoto is more useful than wide-angle, since the telephoto can be used in conjugation with the main lens to enhance the sharpness of the middle of the frame(due to telephoto having the same FoV as the middle of the frame with more resolution). They never needed dual-camera for portrait mode. It's needed however for good looking portraits(since you don't have to go very close to the subject), zoomed in photos when you are too far away and enhancing the clarity of middle of the frame. Wide-angle looks really cool, but the fisheye effect at the corner of the frame just doesn't work for me.

22. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1603; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I find telephoto far more useful personally. It's far more common that I want to take a detailed photo of something I can't stand close enough to than find the desire to fit more into the photo.

3. Landon

Posts: 1248; Member since: May 07, 2015

The Pixel 2 phones set the bar pretty high. Here's to hoping Samsung sets that bar even higher with their 2018 flagships.

4. twens

Posts: 1186; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Well this news goes to confirm that they also thought of the idea. Pixel xl2 was just first to bring it to market. The pixel is amazing and a good competition to Samsung in the camera department so this should push them to up their game like you said.

5. cmdacos

Posts: 4388; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

@uncle_gadget How did the Pixel prove you don't need telephoto? If you want optical zoom you need some form of telephoto. Bokeh can be done without computational photography and that was shown years ago, no dual lens needed. Optical zoom though will not be done with software.

6. sip1995

Posts: 1771; Member since: Feb 07, 2014

The MP race is on......again.

8. MrShazam

Posts: 987; Member since: Jun 22, 2017

Unless they can get 3x optical zoom or more with the telephoto lens, MP is the only way to go for getting better shots of far away subjects in such slim devices.

9. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

The slim modules (and slightly smaller pixels) are usually reserved for the cheaper A series. They tend to be a bit thinner and also were the first Galaxy phones with flush cameras. I highly doubt that the S series goes to smaller pixels on a 12 MP sensor, thus even a smaller sensor.


Posts: 953; Member since: Feb 23, 2014

Would they not have 24MP on the rear and 12mp on the front?

12. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

More like 24 and 12 MP on the rear, and 8MP on the front.

18. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

O agree with Blueblaster on this one. 12MP in the front...24 on the back. I could also see a 24/12 on the back. The 24, gives a very wide angle while the 12MP is like the 12MP Telephoto lens on the Note 8.

23. umaru-chan

Posts: 377; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

It's a downgrade from present sensor. Specially the 0.9μm sensor. The quality will be terrible.

24. Zack_2014

Posts: 677; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Seems like you know than the engineers at Samsung's camera department.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless