Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra leaker says camera will be biggest leap in 5 years

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra back showing cameras
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best camera phones you can buy, but photography fans will be blown away by the picture quality of its successor if one prominent leaker is to be believed.

Ice Universe — a leaker with a strong track record, especially when it comes to Samsung handsets — has been posting about the quality of the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra’s camera for the last few days. 

To recap, Ice Universe has previously stated that the S23 Ultra will feature a 200MP camera with 0.6µm pixels on a 1/1.3" sensor and an f/1.7 aperture in front. Now it seems the leaker has seen the power of this new sensor first-hand.

“The 200MP of Samsung S23 Ultra is too strong,” he wrote (opens in new tab), adding that it’s “stronger than all the 200MP I have seen before.” 

And while the telephoto camera specs remain the same as the S22 Ultra, Ice Universe says that there are improvements here too. 

“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,” he wrote (opens in new tab). Hopefully that means that S22 Ultra owners will see a telephoto improvement via a software update at some point down the line.

But the biggest improvement comes in night mode, the leaker claims (opens in new tab). This is apparently down to improvements in the CIS (contact image sensors) which have resulted in “the biggest improvement of Samsung’s flagship mobile phone in five years.” High praise indeed.

“Specifically, in an environment with almost no light, the S23 Ultra's 5 seconds shooting is much better than the S22 Ultra's 6 seconds, not only brighter, but also significantly improved in image quality,” he added later (opens in new tab).

Twitter isn’t the only place where Ice Universe has been talking up the S23 Ultra’s camera potential. On Weibo (opens in new tab), he emphasized the possible improvements of a 200MP camera with this comparison shot.

A comparison between 200MP and 100MP smartphone cameras

(Image credit: Ice Universe / Weibo)

While this has been reported as a direct S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra comparison in some quarters, there’s actually no indication that this is the case. 

The machine-translated caption simply reads: “The resolution of a 200 million pixel magnified 16 times cropped part is indeed beyond any 100 million pixels. (AI detail enhancement is not turned on) 1. The strongest 200MP 2. The strongest 108MP”. In other words, it’s a 200MP camera, but not necessarily the S23 Ultra’s as others have claimed.

But while it could just be a comparison between S22 Ultra and the Xiaomi 12T Pro, say, it remains a good one. Remember Ice did say that the S23 Ultra’s lens is “stronger than all the 200MP I have seen before”, after all.

We could be putting the Samsung S23 Ultra’s camera through its paces in a full review sooner than you think. One report suggested that Samsung’s next flagship phones will be arriving in January both to get a jump on the 2023 competition and provide a solid rival to Google’s Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro. If Ice Universe is correct, it should be a fascinating battle. 

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.