Samsung Galaxy S11 tipped to escalate the phone cam arms race with 108MP sensor

Squaring up to the iPhone 11

samsung s10 plus camera
Front snappers on the S10 Plus

Samsung is expected to next year release its newest flagship, the Galaxy S11. And, as is the case with any high-profile phone release, details are steadily leaking from the chaebol's notoriously porous supply chain.

The latest scuttlebutt comes from Bloomberg, which reports that the Galaxy S11 – and its clamshell Galaxy Fold stablemate – will pack a gargantuan 108MP sensor for the main camera.

If the industry talk is to be believed, this will come with three additional sensors, including an ultrawide-angle lens, a 5x optical zoom and a time-of-flight (TOF) sensor.

This would seem to fit with the leaked renders we've seen of the device, courtesy of OnLeaks, which show a fairly pronounced camera bump on the phone's derriere. As we previously mentioned in our coverage of the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro, Samsung's 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX sensor is physically quite big, measuring 1/1.33-inches.

Although Samsung's flagships have traditionally been well-received both critically and commercially, the past few iterations have felt fairly safe, with few standout features distinguishing it from their predecessors. This is particularly true with respect to the camera, which has used the same 12MP primary sensor since 2016's Galaxy S7.

This renewed emphasis on photography is indicative of Samsung's desire to remain competitive with its nearest competitor, Apple. On DxOMark, the top-tier iPhone 11 Pro Max is neck-and-neck with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G.

As an added bonus, a better camera will help it address the threat posed by insurgent Chinese firms like Xiaomi and OPPO. It's especially noteworthy that DxOMark has ranked the camera on the Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro as the second best on the market, above both Apple and Samsung flagships.

The OPPO Reno 10X Zoom is also ranked quite highly on DxOMark, just above the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.

Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S11 and second-generation Galaxy Fold (which is slated to be a Motorola Razr-style clamshell) in February. This will either take place at a dedicated Samsung launch event, or less likely, amid the madness of the annual MWC trade show. ®

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