Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra could be the camera phone to beat — here's why

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
(Image credit: Future)

If you thought the 100x Space Zoom on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was great, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is going to blow your mind. In fact, it could have the “best” zoom on a camera phone so far.

That’s according to leaker IceUniverse (via SamMobile), who is usually pretty clued in with all things Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy S22 range isn’t likely to arrive until early on next year, but by then it will have to compete head-on with the iPhone 13 and Apple's camera upgrades. 

While we don’t know whether the zoom level will increase, the Galaxy S22 will apparently offer significantly better zoomed images. According to Ice Universe ,it’s all thanks to a collaboration between Samsung’s electromechanics and semiconductor divisions. The goal is to offer a new continuous zoom system.

Apparently, this new zoom system will utilize a periscope lens unit that can freely and continuously move between 3x and 10x optical zoom, which will then reduce the need for the camera to make any digital adjustments after the fact.

For comparison, the Galaxy S21 Ultra has a fixed periscope lens which has to rely on digital trickery to make it look like you physically zoomed on. And that inevitably leads to lower quality zoomed images. Likewise, the majority of other phones with periscope lenses use the same sort of system.

So it’s not clear how much extra quality we’ll get from the S22 Ultra’s new free-moving lens, it may be enough to give Samsung a boost in the camera department, as Android rivals like the OnePlus 9 Pro have really stepped up their game. 

This isn’t the first big upgrade we’ve heard might be coming to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. Rumor is that the phone may get a 200MP main lens, and Samsung has gone so far to tease that prospect on social media. A separate leak says that Samsung is partnering Olympus on the Galaxy S22

While resolution doesn’t automatically equal quality, it does suggest Samsung has grand plans for the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s photography capabilities. So no doubt we’ll be hearing more about it in the coming months.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.