The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra might not have the biggest of camera upgrades when compared to its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. At least when it comes to hardware.
That’s according to reasonably reliable tech tipster Ice Universe, who tweeted what they claim are specs for four of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s rear cameras. On paper these camera specs are nearly identical to those of the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s rear cameras.
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Ice Universe claimed the main sensor will come in at 108MP and sport an f/1.8 aperture, though the camera’s sensor will get an upgrade.
The ultra-wide-angle camera is tipped to come in at a familiar 12MP, same as before. And both 10MP telephotos cameras are rumored to be much like those on the Galaxy S21 Ultra, only with improved sensors and slightly larger pixel sizes, which should make for better low-light photography.
S22 Ultra camera108mp Improved version of HM3 main 1 / 1.33 "0.8 um F1.8 FOV 8512MP 0.6X sony 1/2.55" 1.4um F2.2 FOV 120 10MP 10X new sony 1/3.52" 1.12um F4.9 FOV 1110MP 3X new sony 1/3.52" 1.12um F2.4 FOV 36October 26, 2021
While the Galaxy S21 Ultra is one of our picks for the best phone cameras, we’ve come to expect Samsung to improve its cameras with each new flagship phone — at least with the Ultra models. These specs once again suggest that there won’t be a big upgrade, including the rumored 200MP main camera. (That rumor's been shot down previously.)
That’s worthy of an eyebrow raise, given that both the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Google Pixel 6 Pro have shown off some stellar smartphone photography chops in recent weeks. So Samsung will need to pull something special out of the bag to compete early next year, when the Galaxy S22 line up is expected to make its debut.
Galaxy S22 camera software story
Over the past few generations of Galaxy phones, Samsung has really shown it can improve its image signal processing and computational photography to deliver impressive shots. But both Apple and Google have raised the bar with their recent flagships, and Google has added a bunch of compelling features to the Pixel 6.
These new Pixel 6 camera capabilities include a new Motion mode that can blur out the background and a long exposure mode for creating artistic effects around moving objects in your images. Plus, there's a great new Pixel 6 Magic Eraser tool that can zap photo bombers and other unwanted objects from your pics.
While a lot of photography is subjective — some might prefer the contrast-heavy shots of a Pixel phone against the heavier color saturation of Galaxy handsets — Samsung phones have gotten better at capturing details, low-light photography and overall computational photography generation to generation. So there’s no reason to expect Samsung to not continue this trend with the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
In many ways, we’d be more interested in seeing Samsung do more on the video side rather than in capturing stills. The Samsung Galaxy S21 captures pretty solid videos at high resolutions and frame rates, but arguably the results it delivers can't keep up with those of the iPhone 13 range when it comes to HDR performance and its new Cinematic mode. The Galaxy S21 can do portrait mode video, but it's not as compelling.
Cameras aside, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is shaping up to be an impressive flagship phone, not least because it could be the spiritual successor to the Galaxy Note. Its chipset is tipped to be a tie up between Samsung's Exynos silicon and AMD’s RDNA 2 graphics. That's the same GPU architecture found in the PS5 and Xbox Series X; that could deliver some seriously impressive gaming on the go.
Thus far, a lot of these information tidbits remain unconfirmed rumors. But we’re expecting the Galaxy S22 to arrive in the first quarter of 2022, so we may not have too long before we see what Samsung does next with its flagship phones.