Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras: all the rumors so far

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

Nearly a year on from its release, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra still proudly sits high up on our list of the best camera phones around. But it’s soon to be eclipsed by something which could be significantly better: the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which, if the various leaks are to be believed, could be something very special indeed for photography fanatics.

The top rumored upgrade for the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a new 200MP main sensor, which would top the already super-sharp 108MP camera on the S22 Ultra. But there's plenty of other improvements on tap for the S23 Ultra cameras. Here's all the leaks and rumors so far. 

Galaxy S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra: Rumored camera specs

We’ll get into the nitty gritty in a moment, but here are the camera specs of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra against those we expect from its successor. To be clear, the latter is based on leaks which could prove incorrect — nevertheless, it’s what we currently expect.

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CameraSamsung Galaxy S22 UltraSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (rumored)
Main camera108MP; f/1.8 aperture; 1/1.33” sensor; 0.8μm pixels; OIS; PDAF.200MP; f/1.7 aperture; 1/1.3” sensor; 0.60μm pixels; OIS; Dual PDAF.
Ultrawide camera12MP; f/2.2 aperture; 1/2.55” sensor; 1.4μm pixels.12MP; f/2.2 aperture; 1/2.55” sensor; 1.4μm pixels.
3x telephoto camera10MP; f/2.4 aperture; 1/3.52” sensor; 1.12μm pixels.10MP; f/2.4 aperture; 1/3.52” sensor; 1.12μm pixels.
10x periscope camera10MP; f/4.9 aperture; 1/3.52” sensor; 1.12μm pixels.10MP; f/4.9 aperture; 1/3.52” sensor; 1.12μm pixels.

As you can see, at the time of writing, it seems that Samsung is focussing its attention on the main camera, with the extra sensors seemingly untouched. But it sounds like you can still expect upgrades to performance across the board, thanks to some improvements to the image processing software too.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras: 200MP main camera

Make no mistake: the 200MP main sensor is a big deal, and while Samsung won’t be the first out the door with such a high megapixel count (the Xiaomi 12T Pro takes that honor), it could still make the most impact. Indeed, the leaker Ice Universe has said that the S23 Ultra’s camera is “stronger than all the 200MP I have seen before.” High praise indeed.

A screenshot from Ice Universe's Weibo account, showing photos from the Galaxy S22 Ultra (left), Galaxy S23 Ultra (center) and Google Pixel 7 Pro. The post has been machine translated for clarity.

(Image credit: Ice Universe/Weibo)

The megapixel count isn’t the only thing, of course. The aperture is slightly larger at f/1.7, meaning it will be able to capture more light for better performance in darker conditions. Ice Universe helpfully shared camera samples between the S23 Ultra, S22 Ultra and Google Pixel 7 Pro to demonstrate the difference between the three.

Telephoto improvements

While the three other cameras’ specs appear identical between generations on paper, we can still apparently expect improvements. “Although the 3x and 10x camera specs are exactly the same as those of the S22 Ultra, the S23 Ultra still has an improvement in telephoto, and the improvement in color and some AI algorithms is obvious,” wrote Ice Universe.

These changes all add up to what he describes as “the biggest improvement of Samsung’s flagship mobile phone in five years” — especially when it comes to night shots. Exciting.

8K Video

Regarding video, we expect the Galaxy S23 Ultra to be capable of shooting 8K footage at 30fps (up from 24fps of its predecessor). According to one leaker, we can expect “Ultra Stabilization” for more steady film — a feature that could see the S23 Ultra matching the iPhone 14’s Action Mode.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera: Outlook

Numbers on a page can only tell you so much. On paper, Google’s first five generations of Pixel had a fairly weak 12MP shooter, yet they consistently took some of the best photos around.

That said, Samsung has a good pedigree with photography, and it would be very surprising if the Galaxy S23 Ultra took a step backwards. The high praise from Ice Universe — often a Samsung critic — is a very good sign indeed.

We’ll know for sure when we get to put it through its paces at some point in the new year. We’re currently expecting the Samsung Galaxy S23 family to launch in February, so not too long to wait now.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.