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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra leaker just tipped camera's secret weapon

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra zoom leak
(Image credit: Future)

Update: The Scene Optimizer camera mode is now so good in the Galaxy S22 Ultra that you can keep it on.

Photography on the Samsung Galaxy S22 is set to get a boost, but through the power of software post-processing rather than beefy new hardware, a new rumor states.

Ice Universe (opens in new tab), building on previous leaks, again makes the claim that the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra will feature an "AI detail enhancement mode" for the main 108MP camera when taking photos at its full resolution. Explaining in a screenshot of a current 108MP camera-equipped Samsung phone (likely a Galaxy S21 Ultra) where you'll find the button to enable it, IU also tells us that with the feature enabled, the photos will "have more details, colors and brightness than ordinary 108MP."

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A second Ice Universe tweet (opens in new tab) builds on this, emphasizing the importance of AI for the S22 Ultra's camera. According to IU's explanation, about 70% of the improvement of the S22 Ultra's photography comes from these features, with only 30% due to hardware enhancements.

Saying a phone's cameras will be an improvement over the previous generation's cameras isn't so much a leak, more a very safe bet. However, hearing exactly how they'll be better is interesting, and seeing Samsung take a new focus on AI-enhanced photography is key in light of the competition.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra rear with S Pen in three colors

(Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

Samsung's main rivals, Apple and Google, both focus more on their software processing than their camera hardware compared to Samsung. Neither the iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro nor the Google 6 Pro offer the same number of sensors or the 108MP main camera resolution of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, yet these all score higher than it on our best camera phones guide. Perhaps a new focus on post-processing will help Samsung secure a lead for image quality.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is rumored to have a similar camera setup to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, with only some sensors swapped out for newer versions with the same general specs. There are greater changes rumored for the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22 Plus, which are thought to be gaining 50MP main cameras and 3x optical zoom telephoto cameras.

Beyond the cameras, the rumors claim some significant changes for the bodies of all three models in the Galaxy S22 range. The S22 and S22 Plus are said to be smaller than their 2021 equivalents, while the S22 Ultra is thought to be getting squarer and wider, and also gaining an integrated S Pen stylus. It's for this reason we're particularly excited for the Ultra, to see if it becomes Samsung's successor to the Galaxy Note line. 

Other rumors mention the S22 line will use either Snapdragon 8 Gen 1or Exynos 2200 chipsets depending on the region you buy the phone. This will likely be accompanied by 8GB RAM and 256GB storage in the S22 and S22 Plus, and 12GB or 16GB RAM and 256 or 512GB storage in the S22 Ultra.

The latest we've heard about an S22 series launch date is that it's been delayed slightly, but only until February 9 of 2022. This will reportedly be the day pre-orders also open, but the full retail launch is tipped for February 25th. Check out our Samsung Galaxy S22 rumor page for all of the latest news, rumors and leaks. 

Richard Priday
Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.