Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra could feature this unprecedented camera upgrade — Night Mode just got better

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
(Image credit: @OnLeaks)

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is reportedly poised for a January release date, and as the highly anticipated flagship smartphone creeps closer to launch, the tech realm is aflush with leaks. This time, we've got the scoop on the Galaxy S21 Ultra's rear camera upgrades (via TechRadar).

Similar to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will sport a 108-megapixel main camera with a 0.8μm pixel size, but this lens will pack a feature never been seen before on a smartphone — an Isocell HM3 sensor.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra's camera upgrade

The Isocell HM3 sensor, an unprecedented smartphone feature, boosts enhanced camera performance in low-light environments, so Night Mode photos on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra should be better than ever. This juicy rumor comes from reliable Twitter leaker @UniverseIce.

However, according to the Twitter bean spiller, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will drop its time-of-flight sensor (ToF), which means the smartphone's ability to perceive depth will plunge. Depth perception heightens AR experiences and adds cool bells and whistles to smartphone photography and videography.

The Samsung Galaxy S20+ and S20 Ultra, for example, is equipped with a ToF-supported Live focus video feature that lets users blur backgrounds in real time during video recording. The time-of-flight sensor can also determine the width, height, area and volume of objects, allowing users to quickly snag measurements of innumerable items.

This isn't the first time we've heard that the ToF sensor will get the boot. According to sources secured by Korean news outlet The Elec in August, Samsung decided to drop the ToF sensor because its technology is far behind Apple's LiDAR scanner (an advanced ToF sensor) and there aren't any compelling use cases for the ToF sensor.

Even though the days of the ToF sensor are numbered, there's still plenty to get excited about. In addition to the Isocell HM3 sensor, the Samsung Galaxy S21 series will reportedly have a performance boost and sport up to six cameras.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!