As a follow-up to last year’s ISOCELL GN1, Samsung follows that up with the second-generation ISOCELL GN2. While it is still at 50-megapixels, the new sensor is bigger than its predecessor at 1/1.12”, making it the biggest smartphone sensor to date—yes, even bigger than those found on Huawei phones.
Because of its bigger physical size, the pixels are also bigger as well at 1.4um, which becomes 2.8um when four-in-one pixel binning is applied. Also new to the ISOCELL GN2 is the ability to shoot 100-megapixel photos via a “intelligent re-mosaic algorithm”. What this means is that the 100-megapixel photos comprise of three 50-megapixel layers of Green, Blue, Red that is overlaid, upscaled, and merged.
The biggest highlight of the ISOCELL GN2 is its all-new Dual Pixel Pro tech. An evolution of Samsung’s Dual Pixel AF, Dual Pixel Pro revamps the autofocus system by splitting the red, blue, and green pixels diagonally (vs vertically with Dual Pixel AF), letting the sensor read phase differences not just at the left and right sides, but also at the top and bottom sides.
In theory, this means that autofocus performance will be better especially in low-light environments and when shooting fast-moving subjects. That also means that Dual Pixel Pro is Samsung’s answer to Omnivision’s QPD autofocus that it introduced with the OV50A—which, by the way, is also 50-megapixels.
Other noteworthy features include Smart ISO Pro for better HDR images will reducing energy consumption, slo-mo video recording at 480FPS (for Full HD) and 120FPS (for 4K).
While Samsung said that the ISOCELL GN2 is currently in mass production, we do not know which phone will use the new 50-megapixel sensor. vivo is the only manufacturer using the ISOCELL GN1 with the X50 Pro, and while Xiaomi has yet to announce the Mi 11 Ultra, it might be the first phone to use the ISOCELL GN2. Or maybe Samsung might decide to use this sensor for the next Galaxy Note phone.