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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has announced a new camera sensor for phones that adopts faster auto-focusing and reduced energy consumption.

The 1.4μm 50-megapixel Isocell GN2 sensor features Dual Pixel Pro technology. This automatically adjusts the phase of images top and bottom, not just left and right - as the previous Dual Pixel tech from Samsung. It therefore allows a camera to focus much more quickly.

The original Dual Pixel tech uses two photodiodes hidden behind each pixel to instantly assess the light coming from the slightly different left and right angles of an image. The phase difference between the two angles is then compared to make one, crisp image.

Dual Pixel Pro arranges the photodiodes behind green pixels diagonally, so they can also assess the light coming from the top and bottom. That way the sensor can detect the phase differences between left, right, top and bottom instantly and adjust accordingly. This allows a processor to snap to the sharpest image more quickly and works more effectively when you rotate your phone (for example).

The Isocell GN2 sensor also adds staggered-HDR - a time-multiplexed HDR tech that promises rich details and vivid colours, but with up to 24 per cent less energy consumption over former sensors.

And it sports Smart ISO and Smart ISO Pro, plus 4K 120fps video recording (1080p480).

The sensor has entered mass production already and could be used in handsets soon.

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Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 23 February 2021.