Samsung Galaxy S6
Samsung’s next flagship device is going to be revealed in just a few short weeks ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress, and the head of the company’s camera division is already teasing us about its photo capabilities. In an official blog post, Samsung SVP DongHoon Jang provided a survey of the company’s smartphone camera progress over the years, complete with a chart breaking things down in terms of megapixel count on both front and back cameras from the Galaxy S, to last year’s Galaxy S5.
Jang talked a lot about some of the specific advances made to smartphone cameras in recent years, including technical tricks like High Dynamic Range (HDR) and phase detection auto focus. Thanks to these and other features, the Galaxy S5 has earned a reputation as among the best rear cameras currently available on a smartphone, according to Jang.
In a section hinting at what’s to come, Jang highlighted the recent work Samsung has done to improve the front-facing camera on their devices, including the 5 megapixel shooter on Galaxy A7, A5 and A3 devices. That’s likely an indication that the upcoming flagship Galaxy S6 (or whatever Samsung chooses to call it) will have at least a 5 megapixel sensor up front, if not something even more-improved to serve our growing vanity.
Jang also notes that each new generation of camera goes through over 10,000 photo-captures of testing, in all types of lighting, and this is linked to how they’re thinking about the next generation of mobile cameras for their devices. He says the cameras on this year’s flagship will be “intelligent and do all the thinking for users, allowing them to take amazing pictures under any conditions” with just a simple shutter press.
Samsung is focusing on a foolproof photo experience means they’ve learned from the best – the iPhone has long been the best smartphone camera on the market in that it takes the best possible photos with just a simple tap, and lately it doesn’t even need a user to tap to focus, though it offers additional sophisticated features should people want those. Apple’s genius was in making sure that no matter how hastily or awkwardly a user pokes that shutter button, they’ll get something usable that at least captures the moment, and it sounds like Samsung realizes just how crucial a component that is in the overall smartphone experience.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg says that Samsung is planning two versions of the upcoming flagship, both of which will have all-metal bodies in a first for Samsung’s premiere offering, and one of which will have a wraparound screen. Both will feature 5.1-inch displays, the report claims. The version with the wraparound will have a display that spills over both right and left edges, unlike the single-sided Galaxy Note 4 Edge Samsung introduced last year.
If true, this sounds like a good strategy for Samsung. The company has long stuck with its plastic aesthetic, but the market has changed such that the difference between a mid-range and a premium device is really narrowing. By revamping the design with premium materials, Samsung can reinvigorate a brand that has become a bit stale – and the wraparound screen offers a bit of technical peacocking, even if that ends up being a version only a small segment of the population opts to actually purchase.
We’ll find out exactly what Samsung has planned on March 1 when it reveals all at a special event in Barcelona.