Halfway decent cameras are a key selling point in modern smartphones… but so are phones with high screen-to-body ratios. Enter displays that wrap around the front-facing camera either via a notch design or, more recently, a hole in the display.

Samsung says its newest smartphone camera solution is designed for that type of display — it’s the company’s smallest 20MP image sensor, allowing it to fit into tiny spaces… like the area behind a hole in a display.

The Samsung ISOCELL Slim 3T2 should enter mass production in the first quarter of the year, which means we could see it in phones in the spring or summer.

Sasmung says the 1/3.4 inch image sensor measures about 5.1 millimeters diagonally and features 20 million 0.8μm-sized pixels.

If you’re shooting photos in low-light settings, the camera sensor uses Samsung’s Tetracell technology to combine four pixels into one in order to allow in more light. You’ll only end up with a 5MP image, but Samsung says those pictures should be brighter and sharper than what you’d get if you used a 5MP 1.6μm-pixel image sensor.

While the tiny image sensor can be used for front-facing cameras, Samsung says it can also be used as part of a telephoto solution for rear cameras. Samsung says it’s about 7 percent thinner than the company’s existing 20MP image sensor.


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3 replies on “Samsung launches a tiny 20MP camera for hole-in-display and notch phones”

  1. I still don’t see why cameras can’t go directly behind the AMOLED panel, that’s transparent from the back – even when it’s lit on the front. Yes, the captured image might be a bit darker, but you can correct that with software.

    1. It’s because the industry has plateud since 2013.
      Its change for the sake of change. So when they do find a solution/improvement, they don’t rush to it, they make progressive steps there. Just look at the history:

      They went from large bezels to medium bezels 16:9. Then they made phones larger, 18:9 small bezels. Then to 19.5:9 more slim bezels, but more larger phone. Then to 19.5:9 borders with large notch. Then to medium notch. Then to small teardrop notch. Then to a hole-punch notch.

      Next in 2020 it will be 100% Screen to Body phones, with the fingerprint scanner being ultrasonic under display, and the front-camera being under display with the thin OLED display turning pixels off to take a shot, and losing the loudspeaker to have a piezoelectric/vibrating earpiece. It will look cool and futuristic. But it will be expensive to buy, expensive to service, extremely fragile, extremely slippery, and unergonomic to use. Everyone will be duped by the marketing, spend money for the luxurious design, then end up covering it with a Plastic Screen Protector and a Thick Silicone case. If it sounds stupid, that’s because it is.

      1. That is – until a Chinese manufacturer decides to grab the spotlight by doing it first, forcing everyone else to make the next step.
        But you are right, back in the Nokia days you had to make the decisions if you wanted the phone with the WiFi or the one with the GPS? High-res screen or a standard headphone jack? S60 or UIQ? Slider, clamshell, candybar, qwerty, qwerty-slider, half-qwerty or communicator form? And then in just a couple of years it all became a basic black glass slab that hass both WiFi and GPS and a headphone jack.

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