Wondering how Samsung manages to cram a 16-megapixel camera into seemingly wafer-thin phones like the Galaxy A8? By developing a brand-spanking new sensor that fits, that’s how. The Korean company has built an ISOCELL-based CMOS imager that uses extremely tiny 1.0-micron pixels instead of the 1.12-micron units from the previous model. That may not sound like much of a difference, but it amounts to a sensor that’s 20 percent thinner, at a scant 5mm (0.2 inches) deep. In short, you won’t have to accept an unsightly camera hump just to get high-resolution shots.
There’s going to be some compromises with this sensor. While ISOCELL is supposed to help offset the light reception lost by using smaller pixels, the camera just won’t perform as well in dimly-lit environments as bigger sensors from Samsung or its rivals. Still, this is a big deal if you don’t want to settle for low-res pictures in slim devices — and it’s not an exclusive, so you may see it pop up in other companies’ phones before long.