Samsung Galaxy S7: Leaked photo reveals lack of USB Type-C

Samsung Galaxy S7 camera

The camera is one of the most important elements of a smartphone, and Samsung has traditionally put a great deal of emphasis on its flagships’ snapping credentials. There are a number of rumours about the potential camera on the Galaxy S7, but what is generally expected from Samsung is a 12-megapixel BRITECELL rear-facing camera with a ½-inch sensor. Elsewhere, tech informant S Leaks has tweeted that the phone could feature a 20-megapixel camera with RAW image support. 

At the company’s recent 2015 Investors Forum, Samsung uncovered a number of interesting details about its new BRITECELL camera sensor, including a potential reduction in module size.

Samsung claims the new camera technology improves picture quality in low light by using a new filter arrangement. Phone cameras traditionally use a Bayer filter layout, which consists of a mosaic of red, green and blue (RGB) filters placed on top of a grid of photosites (pixels). The BRITECELL camera removes the green filter leaving the pixel beneath exposed.

This means more light can enter the sensor, although more processing power will be needed to compensate after to work out how much green to add into the final image.  

According to Samsung, the BRITECELL technology also allows for smaller pixel sizes, dropping from 1.12um to 1.0um. That apparently results in a 17% reduction of module height as well as an increase in pixel density up to 20 megapixels. Bottom line: a slimmer camera sensor with the same performance in low light, but higher resolution. The camera is intended to appear in future Samsung smartphones, which potentially includes the Galaxy S7. samsung_galaxy_s7_britecell

Elsewhere, Korean publications are reporting that Samsung is trying out a dual-camera system for the Galaxy S7, similar to the one found on the HTC One M8. This setup involves two sets of lenses: one camera to take the main image and a smaller camera to record spatial information. This lets the phone add dramatic depth-of-field effects to your photos.

The third dimension is proving pretty popular as of late. Intel’s RealSense cameras are similarly tapping into the possibilities of depth perception, and it may be the case that Samsung want to one-up the iPhone 6s’ 12-megapixel camera with a headline-grabbing new feature.  

Samsung Galaxy S7 processor

According to Tech Times, Samsung is currently testing two variants of the company’s 2016 flagship device – one for western markets running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, and one for Asian markets running on Samsung’s own Exynos M1. South Korea’s Electronic Times has offered a slightly different prediction, reporting that Samsung will use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor for Galaxy S7s sold in the US and China, and Samsung’s own Exynos chip for Galaxy S7s in other markets.

If true, these rumours suggest that Samsung is stepping back into bed with Qualcomm after the decision to run with its own Exynos processor in the Galaxy S6. Why does Samsung want to experiment with an outside processor? It may be that Qualcomm’s processor ends up outperforming Samsung’s Exynos and, if this is the case, it would make sense for Samsung to use the Snapdragon to avoid falling behind its rivals, and to help justify the Galaxy S7’s premium price tag. 

The processor rumoured to be at the core of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S7 recently bagged a history-making result in the AnTuTu benchmark test. 

According to MobiPicker, the Exynos 8890 chipset ended up with 103,692 points in the benchmark test. That’s a hefty result, considering the recent high-end Kirin 950 SoC from Huawei allegedly scored 65,179 in similar tests. There are varying reports about specifically which processor will factor in which regional variant of the Galaxy S7. A number of rumours suggest that China and the US will receive a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, while the rest of the world will get Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 processor. MobiPicker does point out that the AnTuTu score comes from an unnamed source, so it’s worth taking the result with a pinch of salt. Still, it’s always nice to get excited about speedy benchmarks.

GSMArena has previously reported that a Samsung smartphone going by the name “Lucky-LTE” has appeared on the Geekbench benchmark database. This phone is thought to be none other than the Galaxy S7, riffing on the fact that seven is a lucky number in Korea. The benchmark shows the Lucky being tested with a new Exynos 8890 chipset, and managing to score 1409 for single-core and 4882 for multi-core. That isn’t quite up to scratch with the current Exynos 7420, which tends to manage a score of around 5200 on multi-core, but GSMArena notes that this could be down to a low clock rate of 1.38GHz, compared to the rumoured max of 2.3GHz. The Lucky device was also caught in a separate benchmark, this time using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 SoC. 

In that AnTuTu benchmark, the device in question was recorded as having a 5.7in QHD touchscreen, 16-megapixel main camera, a 5-megapixel front camera, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It has previously been rumoured that Samsung is planning on releasing the Galaxy S7 in two display variants, one with a 5.2in screen and one with a 5.8in screen. The Snapdragon Lucky managed a score of 65,775.Samsung Galaxy S6 review - side

In regards to that Exynos chip, Samsung’s recent unveiled a brand spanking new processor – the Exynos 8 Octa 8990 SoC – which is likely to feature in the Galaxy S7.

The Exynos Octa 8890 uses a 64-bit ARM architecture, which Samsung says makes it 30% faster and 10% more efficient than the Exynos 7420. “The Exynos 8 Octa is a leading-edge application processor for next-generation mobile devices that incorporates Samsung’s mobile technology leadership in CPU, ISP and modem, as well as process technology,” said Dr Kyushik Hong, Samsung’s vice president of system LSI marketing, during the announcement of the chip. 

Back to Qualcomm. According to Master Herald, the Snapdragon 820 will also feature built-in protection in the shape of advanced machine learning algorithms, and be able to pre-empt antivirus companies in the detection of threats and viruses. Samsung is also allegedly working with a number of mobile security app vendors to add privacy features to their devices. The specific details of these features are unknown, but it is an interesting suggestion of the direction Samsung could be taking in terms of security. Much attention is given to battery life and processor speed, but in a digital landscape increasingly dented by high-profile hacks, privacy is a strong selling point.

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