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Galaxy S23 Ultra zoom camera might not get an upgrade

Updated Jan 24th, 2023 9:57AM EST
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Image: Samsung

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The Galaxy S23 is still a ways out, with Samsung getting ready to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 in a few weeks. But the 2023 flagship has started appearing in leaks. The newest rumor claims that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will feature the same zoom camera as its predecessor. According to a new report, it will have a 10-megapixel shooter, just like in previous years.

Samsung might be looking to cut costs by sticking with a tried and true sensor for the telephoto lens. But that’s not necessarily bad considering the grim outlook for Android handset sales in the coming months. Moreover, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s zoom performance is spectacular already. Why fix what isn’t broken?

The Galaxy S Ultra introduced Samsung’s first periscope zoom cameras. The Galaxy S20 Ultra was the first Samsung phone to support 100x zoom, which was more of a marketing gimmick than a feature you could reliably use. The internet was filled at the time with camera samples at different zoom levels, but anything over 30x showed that Samsung’s Super Resolution Zoom wasn’t something most people needed.

Fast forward to the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s periscope camera, and the zoom experience has improved significantly. Those samples showing 100x zoom photos are a lot cleaner. And they’re finally usable.

Galaxy S23 Ultra’s zoom camera

That’s not to say that Samsung can’t continue to improve the zoom experience on future phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra. But it might do it with the help of software rather than radical hardware changes. The folks at GalaxyClub have learned that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will feature the same 10-megapixel telephoto camera as its predecessor. As a reminder, Ultra phones actually feature two zoom cameras.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra features two 10-megapixel zoom cameras with similar specs. Only one of them is a periscope lens.

If the Galaxy S23 Ultra camera rumor is accurate, then the phone might also feature two 10-megapixel zoom cameras.

Well-known leaker Ice Universe is already accusing Samsung of cutting costs. The Korean giant faced similar allegations earlier this year when the Galaxy S22’s throttling mess came to light. At the time, Samsung had to apologize to shareholders and customers. Among other things, Samsung said it didn’t cut costs making the Galaxy S22 series. But those discussions focused on the Galaxy S22’s chip tech and cooling abilities.

The camera upgrade that really matters

Getting back to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the same Ice has praised the zoom experience of the S22 Ultra in the past. Maybe cutting costs on the zoom camera isn’t bad considering the state of the economy. The S22 Ultra zoom experience is already amazing. And we’re still looking at zoom features that users might not need in most cases.

What’s really important in a flagship phone is the primary camera experience. And Samsung is already rumored to include a 200-megapixel sensor in the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s rear camera setup. That’s the kind of camera upgrade that will matter more than the zoom camera hardware.

We’ll have plenty of time to discover the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera secrets. The new Samsung flagship series won’t launch until early 2023, and everything will leak by then.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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