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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra just tipped for 200MP camera — but is that enough?

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera close up
(Image credit: Future)

Rumors for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 series are heating up. With stellar performance from its cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it is exciting to see what Samsung could have planned next.

And the future already looks pretty bright for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra flagship that has been tipped to get a massive 200MP camera. A new leak now suggests that the specific camera sensor that the phone will use has not been released by the company yet.

This is different from earlier rumors that suggested Samsung might use its ISOCELL HP 1 or HP 3 sensor for the 200MP sensor. Samsung had launched the ISOCELL HP 3 sensor (opens in new tab) but recently, it was tipped that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could skip this new camera

Now, a tweet from reliable leaker Ice Universe (opens in new tab) claims that the S23 Ultra will have a 200MP camera but that sensor has not been released yet. 

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This could be good news for the next Ultra-grade Samsung flagship. Samsung’s HP 3 is a mid range sensor and the HP 1 is the larger and more refined sensor that is expected to debut on Motorola’s X30 Pro or the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra. In a bid to be better than its competition, maybe Samsung has another sensor planned for its own flagship. And while it is hard to guess the specs of the sensor, this could also probably mean the new sensor will outperform the Motorola 200MP phones. 

More megapixels = better phone? 

Motorola will probably be the first company to launch a phone with a 200MP camera. In a race to get to 200MP, Motorola recently released a picture taken on its X30 Pro. According to Ice Universe’s tweet, the Motorola 200MP shot was taken with pixel binning-enabled (a unique technique that merges pixels to take a large image and resolve it into a smaller one while preserving details).

Pixel binning is great for phones that are steadily climbing the megapixels ladder. It means that a 200MP shot could easily be compressed to a super high resolution 20MP shot. 

200MP on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra or the Motorola X30 Pro is not new news. Companies have been stepping up their megapixels in the last few years. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 108MP main camera, the Pixel 6 goes for a 50MP main sensor, and the iPhone 14 Pro is tipped to get a 48MP main camera. But while more megapixels is probably great for marketing new phones — does it necessarily mean better images?

The answer to that is — not necessarily. More megapixels means a sharper image and not really a “better” image. Pixel size is important as it determines how much data a sensor can take in, but other factors are just as critical if not more so, such as post image processing and computational photography. 

This is why a 108MP photo is not too necessarily better than a 12MP one. After all, the 12MP iPhone 13 Pro Max currently tops our best camera phone list. 

Whatever sensor Samsung goes with for its 200MP camera on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, we hope the company also pays attention to the software side of things. The Samsung Galaxy S22 has a top-notch 108MP camera that often delivers some stunning shots — but there's room for some tweaks when it comes to colors and handling challenging photography scenarios, like brightly lit outdoor areas with a lot of shadows. 

Going with a new sensor for the 200MP camera on the S23 Ultra as per the leak, Samsung seems to have big plans for its flagship phone that should launch early next year. In the meantime, check out our Galaxy S23 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks and our Galaxy Z Fold 4 hub for the flagship tipped to launch as soon as August 10. 

Sanjana loves all things tech. From the latest phones, to quirky gadgets and the best deals, she's in sync with it all. Based in Atlanta, she is the news editor at Tom's Guide. Previously, she produced India's top technology show for NDTV and has been a tech news reporter on TV. Outside work, you can find her on a tennis court or sipping her favorite latte in instagrammable coffee shops in the city. Her work has appeared on NDTV Gadgets 360 and CNBC.