Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra just tipped for big front camera change

Image of a leaked render of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
(Image credit: OnLeaks/SmartPrix)

The Galaxy S23 leaks just keep coming and now we have a new report regarding the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its front-facing camera. Buckle in for this one.

According Dutch publication GalaxyClub (opens in new tab), the Galaxy S23 Ultra will have a 12MP front camera, the same one rumored for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus. That'd be a huge downgrade in resolution from the 40MP the Ultra phones have had since the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

This isn't the first time we've heard this claim. A report last month in ETNews also suggested that the Galaxy S23 Ultra would turn to a 12MP front camera.

We often urge you not to be bamboozled by the megapixel count on a camera, as more does not always equal better. Both Apple and Google used 12MP cameras for years to incredible effect, always ranking among the best camera phones. So going from 40MP on the Galaxy S22 Ultra to 12MP on the Galaxy S23 Ultra may not be all that bad.

For example, Samsung could use a larger sensor to allow for more light, since GalaxyClub did not confirm the size nor aperture of the front camera. Samsung could further offer an upgrade with autofocus, a feature currently missing on the Galaxy S22 Ultra's front camera.

If Samsung gets the software right, you may not notice the resolution downgrade. Both Google and Apple have proven that the magic lies in the algorithms that produce the final photo. Samsung still has some work to do on this front, something it proved as recently as the Galaxy Z Fold 4

That's not to say that the Galaxy S22 Ultra is a slouch when it comes to photography, nor are we suggesting that the Galaxy S23 Ultra will be, either. In fact, GalaxyClub's report continues with confirmation that the newest Samsung flagship will, indeed, have a 200MP main camera. That could be a big deal and might win Samsung some points against Apple and Google.

Like we said before, don't be too excited about the megapixel count because you're not going to get 200MP images. Odds are that Samsung will use pixel binning to combine all kinds of detail into a smaller, but richer, image. It's what the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro do with their large sensors.

Rumor has it that Samsung has pushed back the launch of the Galaxy S23 series over a pricing concern, so we may not get the word on the new phones until mid- to late-February. Leaks and such will continue to flow until then, however, so keep it locked to our Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Ultra hubs for all of the latest info.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.