Samsung Galaxy S5 Teardown Reveals Camera, Heart Rate Monitor And Fingerprint Sensor Innards

The Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t be officially on sale in the U.S. until next week, but already people have gotten their hands on early hardware and torn it apart to see what makes it tick. Chipworks (via 9to5Google) has disassembled one of Samsung’s new flagships, and it provides an interesting look at that fancy new 16MP camera, which shares elements in common with the HTC One’s UltraPixel tech, as well as with Sony’s Cybershot line of dedicated cameras.

The Samsung variant of mobile camera sensor tech is called ISOCELL, and Samsung says it’s the next big important step up in digital photography after back-illuminated sensors, which themselves dramatically increased image quality in mobile devices when introduced previously. The key parts of ISOCELL have made their way into other similar imaging products from other companies this past year, including HTC’s UltraPixel tech, as mentioned. That’s not surprising, as technology advances in how digital imaging works are often adapted under slightly different names and implementations across different businesses.

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The other key new parts of the Galaxy S5 are the dedicated optical heart rate monitor, and the new fingerprint scanner. Chipworks has disassembled both, and laid those parts bare. One key revelation with the fingerprint sensor: Chipworks has reason to believe it’s possible that some fingerprint detection work is being handled by the touchscreen itself, in addition to the thin horizontal scanner housed in the home button.

It’s already clearly quite different from how Apple handles it, and Chipworks plans to dig deeper to find out even more about what makes these two new flagship hardware features tick. We’ll have our own impressions of the S5 and its new built-in biosensor features in our full review, coming soon.