Update: The Scene Optimizer camera mode is now so good in the Galaxy S22 Ultra that you can keep it on.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is widely regarded as one of the best camera phones around. But since its release in January, its place at the top of the table has been challenged by the excellent photography phones: the iPhone 13 Pro and the Google Pixel 6 Pro.
The big question is what we can expect from the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra when it supposedly launches at the start of 2022. And now, thanks to the prominent and usually reliable leaker Ice Universe, we have a good idea of how things are looking.
er claims that, contrary to other reports, the Ultra model’s four cameras aren’t getting any upgrades in the raw megapixel stakes, and we’ll be getting the same mix of main 108MP sensor, two 10MP telephoto lenses and a 12MP ultrawide number over the quad-camera array.
S22 Ultra camera108MP+12MP+12MP+12MP, wrong108MP+10MP+10MP+12MP, correct108mp 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 12010MP 10X new sony 1/3.52" 1.12um F4.9 FOV 1110MP 3X new sony 1/3.52" 1.12um F2.4 FOV 36 pic.twitter.com/RsS9fPK0hCNovember 24, 2021
There’s more to phone cameras than a number of megapixels, of course, and Ice Universe has other key specs. But while the main sensor appears exactly the same on paper (albeit an “improved version”), the sensors on both the periscope and optical zoom seem to have taken a step backwards, shrinking to 1/3.52-inches and 1.12µm.
For comparison’s sake, here are how this theoretical Galaxy S22 Ultra and the very real Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera specs lineup, side by side:
|Header Cell - Column 0||Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra||Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra|
|Main sensor||108MP, f/1.8, 1/1.33”, 0.8µm||108MP, f/1.8, 1/1.33”, 0.8µm|
|Periscope telephoto (10x)||10MP, f/4.9, 1/3.24”, 1.22µm||10MP, f/4.9, 1/3.52”, 1.12µm|
|Optical telephoto (3x)||10MP, f/2.4, 1/3.24”, 1.22µm||10MP, f/2.4, 1/3.52”, 1.12µm|
|Ultrawide||12MP, f/2.2, 1/2.55”, 1.4µm||12MP, f/2.2, 1/2.55”, 1.4µm|
That may seem like bad news, but with cameras, the written specs can only tell you so much. A camera that’s great on paper can produce dreadful, noisy shots, while a seemingly low-spec model can punch above its weight.
A lot comes down to the image processing, which is why the Google Pixel phones of old were able to impress with their pictures, despite packing the same 12.2MP sensor over multiple generations (finally replaced for the Google Pixel 6).
In other words, we shall have to wait and see whether the Galaxy S22 Ultra reclaims Samsung’s place at the summit of our list of the best camera phones.
It is, however, in all other respects shaping up to be a serious contender, with a rumored built-in S Pen and (in certain regions) the power of Samsung’s new Exynos chip, built in collaboration with AMD. It could be the phone to beat in 2022.