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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra secret weapon against iPhone 14 Pro now looks confirmed

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

We‘ve had heard many rumors about Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra getting a 200MP camera sensor. Now a new report by Korean outlet ETNews (opens in new tab) seemingly confirms the upgrade. 

According to the report, “Samsung Electronics' Mobile Experience (MX) division shared confirmed information with major camera partners that it will install a 200-megapixel camera on the Galaxy S23”. It goes on to say that the flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra will be the only model in the series to feature the 200MP camera.

Ever since Samsung launched the 200MP HP1 sensor, the S23 Ultra had been tipped to get a 200MP camera. A leak even suggested that the specific camera sensor that the phone will use has not been released by Samsung yet. A tweet by reliable tipster Ice Universe (opens in new tab) said that the 200MP lens will not be the previously released HP1 or HP3 sensor, but could be the unreleased HP2 one.

This time it is not a tweet or a rumor, but an actual publication that is making the claim — which means it is more likely that Samsung will bring a 200MP camera on its flagship next year.

In the pixel race, Samsung introduced a 108MP camera to its Ultra models starting with the Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020 and were the highest resolution cameras you could find on a smartphone. Finally after three consecutive years of the same 108MP on its Ultra models, Samsung is reportedly stepping up to give us a 200MP sensor. 

In a bid to get the higher number of pixels on phones quickly, smartphone manufacturers are opting to go with technology that is readily available. The Samsung HP1 200MP sensor just made its debut in Motorola’s X30 Pro that beat Samsung to become the first smartphone to get a 200MP camera.

The camera can take 200MP pictures but if storage is an issue, it can use pixel binning (a technique that merges pixels to take a large image and resolve it into a smaller one while preserving details) to take pictures at 50MP or 12.5MP. It is possible that the Samsung S23 Ultra will follow suit with a similar capability and the company’s previous S22 Ultra model had a 108MP camera that could also produce 12MP pixel binned images.

After the stellar performance from its cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S22 Ultra all eyes are on Samsung’s next flagships that could launch next year. The S23 Ultra already seems to have a bright future carved out for itself with a 200MP lens and it looks like the flagship is gearing up to take on Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. 

Apple’s iPhone 14 series is set to launch next month and the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are tipped to include a new 48MP main sensor along with 8K video support. This is a far cry from 200MP but megapixels may not be everything to prove which is the better shooter. Apple has always impressed with its computational photography and image processing thanks to its Bionic chips. With the new A16 Bionic chip that could be seen on the iPhone 14 Pro, Samsung will have to step up its processing capabilities.

Despite this rumored camera upgrade, which we may posit could lead to a larger camera module, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could look very similar to its predecessor

The S23 Ultra is rumored to get a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset globally. In our Galaxy S22 Ultra vs iPhone 13 Pro Max face-off, we found that Samsung's camera did not perform as well and Apple had the crisper and brighter images.

We will have to wait and see if the Galaxy S23 Ultra makes it to our best camera phones list with its 200MP camera. Samsung could launch its S23 series in January next year. Until then, stay tuned to our Galaxy S23 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks on the upcoming phones.

Next: A far-out rumor claims Samsung will come out with a buttonless Galaxy S phone, but it’s not going to happen with the Galaxy S23.

Sanjana Prakash
News Editor

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.