The Galaxy S11 camera may surprise us all

The Galaxy S11 camera may surprise us all
Once again, a serial Samsung leakster that specializes in hardware tips, is warning fans to wait for the Galaxy S11 if they want to see a real camera upgrade. This time around, however, Ice Universe quotes that the S11 will bring to the photography or maybe videography tables "something that has never been seen before," leaving us wondering what could it be.

The camera set on the Galaxy S11 may opt for higher resolutions, more variable aperture steps, extra time-of-flight sensors and higher zoom levels, and that's just what we've heard so far. These are all things that exist, however, and if they mean they will be on the S11 in improved versions, that's not as exciting but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Heck, we are just about to enjoy the brand new Note 10 family before we think about the next great thing from Samsung.

Galaxy S11 camera specs and features

Starting with the multistep variable aperture as the freshest rumor, Samsung is reportedly planning to increase the f/1.5 and f/2.4 points of its current flagship camera with one more but it's anyone's guess what it would be. The triple-aperture lens did not arrive with the Note 10 as hoped, so maybe Samsung is saving it for the S11. It could also include something called liquid aperture lens, muse in the tweet comments. These combine the current fixed multi-element lenses with "liquid" ones that can change their spherical curvature when current is applied for extremely fast changes in focal points. Samsung has been working with one provider - Varioptics - for years on these now. In 2017, Varioptic became a part of Corning - the makers of your phone's Gorilla Glass - through an acquisition that included Varioptic and Invenios technologies for packaging and stabilizing such lenses. Coincidentally, Samsung has strategic partnership with Corning, so that's where the speculation about liquid lenses on the S11 comes from. Here's how the technology works:

Galaxy S11 camera sensor resolutions

There are new 64MP and 108MP sensors from Samsung that output 16MP and 27MP photos in a pixel-binning mode that combines color and brightness information from four pixels into one virtual. We doubt that Samsung will be using those for the main camera, though - more pixels don't equate a better picture per se, as they are usually made tinier to fit the count, and collect less light, all other things being equal. With the magic of pixel-binning, or combining information from several pixels into one, however, not only is the resulting photo file smaller in size, but also the snap itself is usually able to overcome the smallish pixel size with some algorithmic trickery. 

Besides high-res photos, Samsung's new sensors with Tetracell technology offer improved low-light performance, better highlights exposure for bright elements, even faster autofocus and improved HDR photography, nearing the perception of the human eye. Everything is on paper still, though, and nothing beats a large sensor size, though, so maybe Samsung will use a brand new one on the S11.

Last but not least, a Samsung supplier is reportedly building a dedicated factory for time-of-flight (ToF) sensors, like the one on the Note 10+, and analysts forecast a surge in demand for those. These will be used for better spatial perception, superior face recognition, and improved portrait-style shots. Samsung's ToF onslaught is expected to invade even its midrangers, so the rising time-of-flight tide is likely to lift the Galaxy S11 boat as well.

In any case, we'd love to see Samsung step up its game in the photography department. It already makes some of the best mobile camera sets out there, but with the iPhone 11, and especially the Pixel 4 promises for significant camera upgrades, it can't afford to rest on its laurels for another full year. This is why we are fairly confident that the most significant upgrade in the S11 will be the camera, while the design will be similar the refined version of Infinity-O that the Note 10 now carries.



1. notfair

Posts: 767; Member since: Jan 30, 2017

I care about the headphone jack more than for the camera, but that's dust in the wind for Sammy because they will remove it from the S11 like they did for Note 10.

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4334; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

As they should...

7. dimas

Posts: 3422; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Really? Camera is more expensive than the headphone jack so it is more valuable. Promoting new camera is more appealing to the general market than the jack. Bluetooth and usb type-c earphones are not bad either. Dongle is already cheap and you don't need to always remove it. I can understand the complain on sd card removal but I don't know why there are still people crying over headphone jack.

16. apple-rulz

Posts: 2198; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Removing the headphone jack is stupid, doesn't matter if it's Apple or Samsung. Stop being such an idiot blind fanboy.

10. Knownhost

Posts: 113; Member since: Nov 13, 2017

Early smartphones included every feature you could imagine--headphone jack, LED notification light, IR blaster, removable batteries, etc. Today's smartphones include fewer features and yet charge much more. I understand that processors, RAM, and cameras have improved, but part of the reason that I don't plan to upgrade for a while is that I will lose at least one, likely two or three, features when I do.

17. MsPooks

Posts: 251; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

So, YOU'RE the 1% who still cares!

3. AlienKiss

Posts: 280; Member since: May 21, 2019

Unless it has a infrared camera like Flir or it can take real macro photos, I'm not really interested.. I'd be a lot more interested if it had 2 SD card slots or a sliding querty keyboard. In 1 year I don't know if I snapped 50 photos with my phone..

4. Dbosss unregistered

I see the liquid can changes its focal length but i don't know how it changes the aperture!

5. LawnBoy

Posts: 203; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Take everything that Ice says with a grain of salt. He was way off in the Note 10. Kept teasing 45. To imply 4500 mA battery and or standard charging speed. Both wrong.

23. Sav_Peg

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 05, 2019

That's 45w mate not 4500mah Ice has been mostly right for the past 2years

6. LawnBoy

Posts: 203; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Sammy bought Corephotonics, the company that put the zoom x 10 in the Oppo Reno. Expect that in the S 11 along with better hardware. That said, Sammy will screen the pooch if they make the phone any thinner. You run out of real estate if the phone is too thin.

8. Alcyone

Posts: 584; Member since: May 10, 2018

Didn't know a person could screen pooch. Btw, don't be too salty that Samsung will be a year ahead of Apple. Again.

14. QuantumRazer

Posts: 176; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

You really like to talk about Apple even when it has not been mentioned in the article, don't you?

20. Alcyone

Posts: 584; Member since: May 10, 2018

Sure. Why not? If people can bring up Samsung/Android in Apple/Ios articles, why cant I? I don't like hypocrites, and being judged. I made a fairly accurate statement about a feature. Apple, LG, Motorola, etc. Apple happens to be Samsungs biggest competitor, hence the mention. Don't like it? Move on or deal with it. Simple.

22. cmdacos

Posts: 4334; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

iPhone 11 is Apple no? It was talked about in this article. It's tough to find an Android article that doesn't mention apple.

9. torr310

Posts: 1708; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

The hardware is good enough. If the detection of scence could be improved much more and having warmer color to the pictures, its camera would be on top 3.

13. Mr8Sin

Posts: 24; Member since: May 17, 2018

If you care about the camera, don't wait for the S11, buy a actually camera.

15. QuantumRazer

Posts: 176; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

Now THIS is the type of innovation I expect from a leading company like Samsung. I hope they'll fix various issues that Note 10's camera suffers from right now (watercolor effect, soft and noisy corners, oversaturation) with this new hardware upgrade along with new software processing.

18. db1020000

Posts: 38; Member since: Feb 17, 2019

Hypocrisy and nothing else

19. talon95

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

No need to skip any phones with Jump On Demand, I'll get them all.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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