New Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra photo samples reveal very powerful cameras

Samsung Galaxy S23 in green showing cameras and S Pen
(Image credit: Evan Blass)

Make no mistake. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could very well vault into the No. 1 position among best camera phones when the new phone launches next week. And the latest leaked photo samples show amazing promise.

In fact, with its rumored 200MP main camera sensor and improved low-light performance, the Galaxy S23 Ultra could take down the likes of the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Google Pixel 7 Pro

This latest round of photos comes from prolific leaker Edwards Urbina (opens in new tab) on Twitter, who has allegedly gotten his hands on a Galaxy S23 Ultra before the Samsung Unpacked event on February 1. We already saw some early S23 Ultra photo samples from Urbina earlier this week, but now he's back for more. 

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Galaxy S23 preorder: up to $100 credit @ Samsung (opens in new tab)
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RAW photo comparison (50MP)

In this photo taken with the 50MP camera setting on with the main camera, you can see that the RAW mode delivers a lot more detail in the image, especially in the foreground. You can make out more the leaves and trees, which get lost in the shadows in regular mode.

Also note how the clouds have more depth to them in RAW mode. There's simply a lot more information to play with in the image, which reminds me of the comparison I did for the iPhone 14 Pro Max RAW mode testing. The RAW mode shot is more evenly exposed, as well.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: 10x and 30x zoom

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra photo of gorillas

(Image credit: Edwards Urbina / Twitter)

Next up we have a photo of a monkey taken with 10x zoom and 30x zoom. At 30x there's a bit of haziness to the image, but you can still make out fine details. Check out the hairs on the monkey's arms and the veins in the leaves. This is an impressive photo. Also keep in mind that the iPhone 14 Pro Max maxes out at 15x digital zoom.

We actually performed a zoom shootout between the S22 Ultra, Pixel 7 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, and the Samsung came out on top. Assuming the photo processing is even better this time around, the S23 Ultra will likely extend that lead. 

Galaxy S23 Ultra low light photos

Photo taken of street at night with Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: Edwards Urbina / Twitter)

Not that the S22 Ultra was a slouch in the night mode department, but these two photos show that Samsung's improved Night mode photography could at least go toe to toe with the Pixel 7 Pro — if not surpass it. 

The photo on the left has less ambient light, but the S23 Ultra still manages to do a good job rendering the bricks, the flags on the left and the cars in the background. The bike in the foreground gets a bit lost but is still visible.

The image on the right is much brighter, and the S23 Ultra renders the criss-crossing wires on the poles fairly well. The cafe sign is clearly legible, and you can make out the chips in the paint in the yellow building. 

Outlook

The more Galaxy S23 Ultra leaks come out showing what its cameras can do, the more we're excited by its potential. Yeah, the 200MP number sounds impressive, but I'm more interested in the actual image quality. And at least based on the several samples we've seen thus far, Samsung seems very determined to no longer be a camera phone also-ran against the likes of Apple and Google. 

Keep it locked to our Galaxy S23 Ultra hub for all the latest hubs and leaks, and bookmark out Samsung Unpacked event page to get ready for the big event February 1. You can also reserve your Galaxy S23 pre-order right now. 

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.