While Samsung develops its own camera sensors, it does source them from other sensor suppliers such as Sony too, particularly for flagship devices. The company created a new camera sensor for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ which brings features such as slow-motion video recording at 960fps and a variable aperture. It turns out that Samsung is not completely relying on camera sensors from its semiconductor division, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ shipping in some markets feature a sensor made by Sony.
This has been revealed in a camera teardown of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ conducted by TechInsights. The teardown has revealed that Samsung is internally sourcing the S5K2L3 sensor for the Galaxy S9 and the IMX345 sensor from Sony. The latter is similar to Sony’s IMX400 sensor that it introduced with the Xperia XZs, the first handset to offer slow-motion video recording at 960fps.
Samsung’s new camera chip has dedicated memory which enables it to meet the processing requirements for slow-motion video recording at 960fps. The IMX345 is similar to Samsung’s S5K2L3 sensor which means that you shouldn’t see any noticeable difference in camera quality when you put results from units with either of the two sensors side-by-side.
This isn’t a distinction that Samsung advertises partly because most users won’t really think about where the sensor in their handset’s camera came from and partly because it’s not like one group ends up with the short end of the stick.