Based on the leaks we’re hearing, it sounds like the camera could be one of the most heavily upgraded parts of the Samsung Galaxy S11, and now another hint of that has come in the form of a Samsung trademark application for something called a ‘Bright Night Sensor’.
Filed with the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) and spotted by LetsGoDigital, the filing describes this as ‘image sensors’ and ‘light sensors’ for use with smartphones and other devices.
It doesn’t specifically mention the Samsung Galaxy S11, but that would be a prime candidate for new smartphone photography tech from Samsung.
- Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review
- Check out the best Samsung phones
- Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Fold review
The filing also doesn’t go into any detail about what a Bright Night Sensor would do, but from the name it sounds like it would be designed to brighten up low light images. Or it possibly capture images of the night sky, like in the Google Pixel 4's astrophotography mode.
A hardware upgrade
It’s worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy S10 range actually already has a Bright Night mode for low light shots, but that’s software-powered, whereas this trademark is talking about hardware. In other words, a camera sensor that’s actually designed for this function.
Building a sensor from the ground up for low light photography is likely to lead to great results, and this isn’t the only low light camera tech that the Samsung Galaxy S11 range might pack. We’ve previously heard rumors that one of the lenses is codenamed ‘Hubble’ and that there could be a ‘Space Zoom’ feature.
Those two things both sound like they relate to telephoto photography of the night sky, rather than general low light photography, but they’ll still need to perform without much light.
So with all that in mind – not to mention talk of the Galaxy S11 or Samsung Galaxy S11 Plus having up to 5 rear lenses, including a 108MP one and 5x optical zoom – Samsung’s upcoming flagships could be the phones to beat for night-time photography, and for photography in general.
- Stock up on the best Android apps
Sign up to receive daily breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis, deals and more from the world of tech.
James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.