Galaxy S22 and S22+ to use Samsung’s 50MP GN5 ISOCELL camera sensor

Galaxy S22 and S22+ to use Samsung’s 50MP GN5 ISOCELL camera sensor
Apple fans got their annual event a couple of days ago, and the tech world is now overflowing with iPhone 13 news. Let’s not forget Samsung though, as the next flagship line of the Korean company is about three months away.

The Galaxy S22 series could be unveiled as early as January next year, and we already have some information about some of the specs. A recent tweet by IceUniverse (@UniverseIce) reveals that the Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22+ might not use the best 50MP Samsung ISOCELL sensors for the main camera.

According to the tipster, Samsung will rely on the ISOCELL GN5 sensor for the two flagship phones, as per the cryptic tweet. The ISOCELL GN5 sensor was officially unveiled earlier this month, alongside the new HP1 200MP sensor that would probably power the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The GN5 is a 1/1.57" sensor with an effective resolution of 8,160 x 6,144 (50M), and 1.0μm pixel size. It features dual-pixel phase detection autofocus and can record video at 30fps @8K, 120fps @4K, 240fps @FHD.

Samsung boasts that the new sensor is capable of achieving balanced shots, crisp and clear low-light images, and ultra-fast autofocus, but it’s not the best 50MP ISOCELL sensor the company has up its sleeve.

Both the GN1 and GN2 are superior in terms of specs. The GN2 model sports a huge 1/1.12" sensor with large 1.4-micron pixels and defaults at 12.5MP mode, resulting in binned 2.8-micron pixels. The Dual-PD Pro tech is also on board, along with Staggered-HDR and Smart ISO Pro for improved dynamic range, and slow-motion 4K@120fps.

The GN1 on the other hand uses the older Dual-PD focusing system but still beats the GN5 in size. It’s a 1/1.31" sensor with 50MP effective resolution, and 1.2μm pixel size. Both the GN1 and GN2 should offer better low-light photos than the GN5 that Samsung plans to put in the Galaxy S22 and S22+.

Samsung S22 and S22+ - everything we know so far

Galaxy S22+ and Galaxy S22 Ultra battery sizes appeared in a 3C certification listing at the beginning of September. The leak lists rated battery capacities: 4,370mAh for the S22+, which translates to 4,500mAh as a typical capacity, and 4,855mAh rated as a 5,000mAh typical battery capacity for the Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The model numbers of the Galaxy S22 series also leaked online, revealing nothing more than a bunch of numbers and letters. The Galaxy S22 is reportedly carrying model number SM-S901x, the S22+ is SM-S906x, and the Ultra will reportedly carry SM-S908x model number.

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IceUniverse offered another leak earlier this year, stating that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will support 45W fast-charging, yet another leak suggested that Samsung might skip the under-display camera technology we saw in the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 in the Galaxy S22 series.

Our take

It’s difficult to justify the use of this smallish 50MP sensor in the new Galaxy S22 and S22+ models, if the leak turns out to be true, that is.

The only thing we can think of is cost reduction - if Samsung wants to keep the cost of its new flagship phones relatively low, the camera module is a good place to start.

On the other hand, software algorithms for image processing are getting better and better each day. The performance of the GN5 ISOCELL sensor might be just good enough to do the job on these new flagship phones.

The other thing is that Samsung needs to separate the Galaxy S22 Ultra somehow from the lower-tier flagship offerings and if the company was to put the HP1 200MP sensor monstrosity across the whole Galaxy S22 range, people won’t have any reason to buy the Ultra.

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