First Samsung Galaxy S22 leak says Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera unlikely

First Samsung Galaxy S22 leak says Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera unlikely
Samsung Galaxy S22's rear camera array is unlikely to have a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor, per a Korean news outlet

A ToF sensor counts the amount of time it takes for a reflected beam of light to bounce back to a sensor and this helps with 3D mapping for portrait images and facial recognition.

The Galaxy S10 5G, Note10+, and last year's S20 series had the tech, but it was left out of the Note 20 and Galaxy S21 range and it doesn't look like it will be returning with the Galaxy S22.

An insider privy to the matter has said that consumer response to camera arrays without a ToF unit has not been bad and thus the company has decided to not equip the Galaxy S22 with it. 

Samsung seemingly thinks its flagship phones don't need a ToF unit because it doesn't serve a meaningful purpose at the moment. It might return when augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) apps take off. 

According to a report from last year, Samsung first brought the ToF tech to its phones to keep up with Apple and Huawei. Its technology is not as fast and accurate as Apple's LiDAR depth sensor, which is apparently made for the Cupertino giant exclusively by Sony.

That's not to say Samsung has given up on ToF sensors. In November of last year, the company introduced an ISOCELL Vizion 33D ToF unit. It has a 4-tap demodulation system for precise depth measurement of fast-moving objects and Samsung also says that it can map a user’s face accurately in dim environments. For now, the company allegedly plans to sell it to Chinese smartphone vendors. 

Beyond the omission of the ToF camera, almost nothing is known about the Galaxy S22 series. It will likely be unveiled in the first quarter of 2022. 

The series might feature an AMD-based Exynos processor. Samsung also recently teamed up with Japanese camera company Olympus and it remains to be seen if the S22 will boast an Olympus-branded camera array.

A recent report also says that Samsung is reconsidering its current camera strategy.

For now, all eyes are on the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which will likely be one of the best smartphones of 2021. 

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