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Samsung could skip 3D ToF sensors for its Galaxy S22 phones

Samsung reportedly thinks 3D ToF sensors don't have any major advantages.

Published onApril 19, 2021

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra camera 2
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Samsung will reportedly skip 3D ToF sensors on its Galaxy S22 phones.
  • It’s believed the company is ditching the tech due to a “lack of clear advantages.”

We saw 3D ToF sensors coming to smartphones back in 2018, allowing devices to more accurately calculate depth effects and augmented reality in theory. Samsung adopted the tech on the back of its phones too, before ditching it for the Note 20 and Galaxy S21 series.

Now, a new report out of Korea suggests that the Galaxy S22 family will also skip 3D ToF sensors. ET News reports that Samsung has recently decided against resurrecting the tech for the Galaxy S22 phones, citing a source familiar with the company’s phone development plans.

The source says Samsung made this decision because the consumer response to its phone cameras without 3D ToF sensors wasn’t “so bad.” The outlet also claimed Samsung considered bringing the tech back after Apple implemented it in the iPhone 12 range, but ultimately decided against this as there was a “lack of clear advantages” to using it.

Do you think flagship phones should have 3D ToF sensors?

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3D ToF cameras allow for photos with better, more accurate depth effects (e.g. portrait mode images) as well as more accurate augmented reality applications. But it’s worth noting that manufacturers have used auxiliary cameras (e.g. depth sensors, telephoto cameras), better autofocus tech, and/or tweaked software to enable better depth effects in lieu of of a 3D ToF camera.

Former Android Authority reviewer David Imel thought the Galaxy S21 Ultra delivered good but not perfect portrait shots in our review. David also noted that the S21 Ultra’s large sensor allowed for plenty of “natural bokeh,” reducing the need for a dedicated portrait mode at times.

Do you think high-end smartphones should have a 3D ToF sensor? Let us know by taking the poll further up the page.

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