Samsung May Drop Time-of-Flight Sensor in Next Flagship Galaxy Phone

Samsung is not planning to include a ToF (time of flight) sensor in its upcoming Galaxy S22 flagship smartphone, according to Korea IT News, due to the South Korean tech-giant believing the technology lacks a "clear advantage" for the front-end consumer.

galaxy s21 iphone 12 pro max
Apple first introduced ToF, or LiDAR, with the iPad Pro in 2020, and first on the iPhone with the ‌iPhone‌ 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. LiDAR, in simple terms, measures the time light takes to reach a destination and back. Using that data, devices can map and create 3D spaces or objects.

Samsung included a ToF sensor in its Galaxy Note 20 that was released last year; however, Korea IT News notes that it "did not meet its expectations." Samsung believed that the new sensor and data would "boost effects of its smartphone cameras," but has ultimately decided that LiDAR lacks applications that "can induce" customers.

However, the company decided to remove the technology from the Galaxy Note 20 that was released in the fall last year as the technology’s level of use did not meet its expectation. While it expected that the technology would boost effects of its smartphone cameras as the technology is capable of 3D sensing, the technology remained as a means of assisting picture-taking due to lack of ‘killer applications’ that can induce use of technology from consumers.

While Samsung decides not to include a LiDAR sensor in its upcoming flagship device, Apple is continuing to expand its adoption of the technology. Wedbush analysts believe that Apple will include LiDAR in all models of the iPhone 13 lineup, rather than just the Pro devices. Alongside being available on more devices, the sensor is expected to receive improvements in recognizing and detecting corners and edges as part of a new and improved camera system.

Tag: Samsung

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Top Rated Comments

ckater Avatar
42 months ago
Funny. Apple is clearly hiding some of the purpose in the dark. So Samsung first copied, then realized it has no own plan für the use.
Let me predict: If Apple shows his cards, Samsung will re-add the sensor in no time.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EmotionalSnow Avatar
42 months ago

I agree, until a hypothetical apple glass. There is hardly a mainstream usage for lidar. Wait and see...
Do you use the camera of your phone? LiDAR is used by the Camera app all the time.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nozuka Avatar
42 months ago
Killer applications surely are missing at the moment.

Hopefully that will change though. Will be interesting to see what Apple has planned for it.... better not end up like 3D touch ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
42 months ago
It's not clear to me if Apple is overestimating the usefulness of LiDAR, or if they know it isn't that useful yet but have another shoe (e.g. glasses) to drop.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
elvisimprsntr Avatar
42 months ago
Apple is building infrastructure for its vision for the future (AR/VR). Samsung clearly has no vision.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
1129846 Avatar
42 months ago
I can not disagree with Samsung on the feature. As it stands there is very little good applications for it on a consumer level device. Pro level the cell phones Lidar is far from being good so same boat not a good use for it with a relatively expensive sensor.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)