Code snippets vaguely suggest a future Google Pixel phone will feature a Samsung camera sensor
The internet giant seems to prioritize software over hardware. It has used the same Sony IMX363 sensor for the main camera since the Pixel 3 and it is clearly due for an upgrade.
XDA Developers' Editor-in-Chief Mishaal Rahman has come across information that mildly suggests that a future Pixel handset will come with a Samsung-made sensor. While fiddling with code, Modder UltraM8 discovered that Google has added support for the GBRG Bayer pattern in the Super Res Zoom algorithm.
A lot of Samsung image sensors have this pattern, so it's possible a future Pixel phone's main image sensor (or telephoto) will use a Samsung image sensor. Super Res Zoom in GCam 8.2 now works on Samsung image sensors without root.— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) April 11, 2021
Ex-Google engineer Marc Levoy suggested back in September 2020 that the company might upgrade to a new camera sensor when a module with a lower read noise than existing solutions is released.
Samsung's new 50MP ISOCELL GN2, which is currently the largest smartphone sensor, could be a candidate. It is 1/1.12-inches and has 1.4μm-sized pixels. Larger sensors are theoretically capable of taking better pictures in low-light and capturing a greater dynamic range of tones.
The rumored one-inch 50MP Sony IMX800 sensor is also a possibility but it remains to be seen if it will be introduced this year.
Per a recent report, the Pixel 6 will be powered by an in-house chip codenamed Whitechapel. It will apparently be manufactured by Samsung using its 5nm fabrication technology.
In other Google Pixel news, the company has said that the Pixel 5a will only be released in the U.S. and Japan.