The Galaxy S20 and S20+ might not use Samsung's new 108MP camera
The Galaxy S20 and S20+ will feature a 12MP sensor
In a Tweet published earlier today, tipster Ice Universe revealed that neither the Galaxy S20 or Galaxy S20+ will benefit from the all-new 108-megapixel camera. That’s because Samsung has reportedly reserved the sensor for the top-of-the-range Galaxy S20 Ultra model.
The standard Galaxy S20 and larger Galaxy S20+ will instead make use of an upgraded 12-megapixel camera. Samsung has used 12-megapixel sensors on its devices since the Galaxy S7 was introduced way back in 2016, but this time around it has one huge change up its sleeves.
The South Korean giant is reportedly upping the pixel size on its new camera to an impressive 1.8μm. For reference, the existing implementation offered by Samsung, as well as those favored by Google and Apple, typically offer a 1.4μm pixel size.
Moreover, the increasingly popular 48-megapixel and 64-megapixel sensors that have been seen across the mid-range segment in recent times have only managed to achieve a 1.6μm pixel size. Samsung’s new flagship camera will, therefore, be noticeably larger.
A quick bit of math reveals an impressive sensor size in the region of 1/1.8", which is almost twice the size of the 1/2.55" sensors used on existing flagships. As such, the Galaxy S20 and S20+ camera should be significantly more powerful than the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 alternatives, something corroborated by Ice Universe.
Size constraints could be the reason for the change
It’s unconfirmed at the moment why Samsung has opted for the improved 12-megapixel camera inside its smaller flagships over the even more powerful 108-megapixel sensor it has in the works, but space constraints are likely the culprit.
Although the 12-megapixel camera is noticeably larger than anything Samsung has used before, its upcoming 108-megapixel alternative is simply massive – a pixel size of 1/1.3". This is further visualized by the sheer size of the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s camera module.
Adding the same camera to the smaller Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ is technically possible, but it likely would have resulted in several compromises elsewhere. After all, Samsung has a long list of upgrades planned for its entire lineup.
The obvious one is the addition of extra cameras alongside larger displays that feature smaller bezels, therefore resulting in a minimal size increase over the devices introduced last year. Another big change involves the batteries, which have reportedly been increased to 4,000mAh and 4,500mAh inside the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ respectively.
These should ensure long battery life on both flagships, despite the presence of 5G modems which are both larger and more power-hungry than their 4G LTE counterparts.
Samsung Galaxy S20 series announcement, release date, availability
The Samsung Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ will make their official debut on Tuesday, February 11, alongside the premium Galaxy S20 Ultra, the foldable Galaxy Bloom, and an updated pair of wireless earphones dubbed the Galaxy Buds.
Pre-orders for the Galaxy S20 series should commence by the end of the week and precede a release on Friday, February 21. The phones are expected to be made available worldwide, although certain variants will only be available in select markets.
For example, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is expected to arrive alongside the 5G-ready Galaxy S20 and S20+ in the United States. In several Asian markets, however, the Galaxy S20 and S20+ will instead be sold in 4G LTE variants due to the lack of next-gen networks.