The Galaxy S11 isn’t due until mid-February, but we already have a ton of rumors about the upcoming flagship series, and the leaks keep piling in. Several sources told us so far that the Galaxy S11 phones will have the same overall design. The handset will look a lot like the Galaxy Note 10 when it comes to the display design, although the bezels might be even thinner. Expect a massive camera upgrade on the back, with a large camera module supposed to pack up to five distinct sensors depending on the model you buy. The Galaxy S11e will have fewer sensors than the top of the line Galaxy S11+. But we expect all of them to share the same primary camera, which appears to be a monster 108-megapixel lens that has no real rival in the industry.
Samsung announced the 108-megapixel sensor a few months ago, in partnership with Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker already launched a mid-range handset rocking the new sensor, but the Galaxy S11 might offer an even better version of it.
It’s not just the megapixels that matter here, and Samsung isn’t likely to embark on a new megapixel quest, which it failed to win the last time around. Up until a few years ago, Samsung was one of the smartphone vendors that kept increasing megapixels count on its flagship devices, but that trend stopped with the Galaxy S7. The phone came with a 12-megapixel primary sensor that may have seemed like a downgrade from the 16-megapixel sensor of its predecessor — but it wasn’t.
The Galaxy S11, meanwhile, is expected to make the first meaningful megapixel jump when it comes to the primary camera, but that 108-megapixel shooter will still capture 12-megapixel shots, as Samsung will use technology that will bind nine pixels into a single, larger pixel. It’s similar to other practices in the industry, although other handset makers have been using so-called Quad Pixel tech in their cameras, which merges four pixels into one.
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 15, 2019
Reliable Samsung leaker Ice Universe made that revelation a few days ago (see tweet above). According to him, the Galaxy S11 will have 2.4μm pixels, once the 9-in-1 magic is applied and shoot 12-megapixel photos.
Since then, he’s back with a more detailed explanation for the Galaxy S11 camera tech that’s meant to improve low-light photography:
S11+ unique new generation 108MP sensor seems to be called ISOCELL Bright HM1. It is a more advanced Nonacell technology than Tetracell. It merges a cluster of 9 pixels into a single pixel and allows 0.8μm pixels to be converted to 2.4μm pixels, greatly improving Low-light shoot
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 18, 2019
That said, we’re far from getting any camera samples that would show the new tech in action, but we should expect those to leak as well the closer we get to Samsung’s first Unpacked press conference of 2020.