Samsung announced a new smartphone image sensor, claiming it has the "smallest pixel size in the industry." After introducing 0.8 µm pixels on its 48-and-now 64-megapixel sensors, which were Widespread by the Chinese smartphone making throughout 2019, Samsung is already producing the world's first 0.7µm pixel image sensor.
The ISOCELL Slim GH1 is a 43.7-megapixel (7,968 × 5,480) sensor designed to offer high resolution in a small physical size. Samsung says it offers the "optimal solution for slim full screen devices", suggesting that it is designed for selfie cameras; The company currently offers a 32-megapixel 0.8μm sensor, which is often used in this way.
If you know anything about camera sensors, you will know that small pixel size is traditionally considered a bad thing, since each photo site has less collection capability and a higher risk of noise input. However, these new high-resolution sensors work a little differently. In low light conditions, they combine four pixels together, which in this case should produce a 1
In practice, of course, resolution and pixel size are not the most important factors when it comes to overall picture quality on a smartphone. Some of the best phone cameras around use ordinary 12MP sensors. But I've found that for mid-range devices, these small pixel sensors can deliver a lot of detail in good light without the excessive noise you'd expect in low light. (Coming soon for some tests on 64-megapixel sensors.)
Samsung says it expects ISOCELL Slim GH1 to go into mass production by the end of this year, so we'll probably see it break into phones early 2020