Samsung introduces new 108MP image sensor with Galaxy S21 Ultra

The sensor brings with it improved autofocus, extended dynamic range, and enhanced low-light performance.

Highlights
  • The ISOCELL HM3 sensor features 0.8micron-sized pixels
  • This is Samsung’s fourth 108MP image sensor
  • It is currently in mass production

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was launched at the Galaxy Unpacked 2021 event alongside the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21+. The primary camera on the Galaxy S21 Ultra uses Samsung’s new 108MP ISOCELL HM3 image sensor. This is the fourth 108MP sensor that Samsung has launched so far and brings with it improved autofocus, extended dynamic range, enhanced low-light performance, and better power efficiency. The 1/33″ sensor with 0.8micron-sized pixels is currently in mass production. Samsung introduced its first 108MP sensor back in August 2019, which was also the first mobile camera sensor to go beyond 100 million pixels.

Samsung HM3 108MP sensor features

As mentioned above, the 1/33″ ISOCELL HM3 sensor features 0.8micron-sized pixels. For faster autofocus, the new sensor comes with an improved Super PD Plus feature. This adds AF-optimised micro-lenses over the phase-detection focusing agents. Technical jargon aside, Samsung claims this new setup helps keep moving subjects in sharp focus and delivers better results in dark environments.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+, and S21 Ultra prices in India revealed: here is how much each variant costs

Another feature of note is called ‘Smart ISO Pro’ – a high-dynamic-range technology that uses an intra-scene dual conversion gain solution. ‘Smart ISO Pro’ simultaneously captures a frame in both high and low ISO, then merges them into a single image in 12-bit colour depth. This allows the sensor to capture brighter and clearer results in low-light environments than its predecessor, with Samsung claiming an improvement in light sensitivity of up to 50 percent.

The ISOCELL HM3 sensor’s pixels are arranged in special three-by-three single colour structures which allow for nine-pixel binning. By merging nine adjacent pixels, the 0.8micron sensor mimics a 12MP image sensor with large 2.4micron-pixels. This improves light sensitivity in low-light environments. Lastly, the new sensor has been optimised to reduce energy usage in preview mode by 6.5 percent.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specifications, prices in India

As far as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra goes, the phone’s India variant is powered by the company’s latest Exynos 2100 chipset and features 12 GB RAM and up to 512GB storage. There is a large 6.8-inch WQHD+ AMOLED display at the front with a punch-hole cutout for the selfie camera. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, and a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer.

On the imaging front, the Galaxy S21 Ultra features a quad-camera setup at the back, comprising of a 108MP wide camera with OIS, a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens, and two 10MP telephoto lenses. For selfies, there is a single 40MP sensor. The smartphone runs Android 11 with Samsung’s OneUI 3.0 custom skin on top. It is also the first non-Note smartphone from Samsung to support the S Pen stylus.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra prices in India are Rs 1,05,999 and Rs 1,16,999 for the 12GB + 256GB and 16GB + 512GB variants, respectively.

Key Specs

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Samsung Exynos 2100 | 12 GBProcessor
6.8 inches Display
108 MP + 10 MP + 10 MP + 12 MPRear camera
40 MPSelfie camera
5000 mAh Battery
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Price
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Rs. 101,500.00
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Rs. 105,900.00
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Rs. 105,999.00
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Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Video