This could be the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's 200MP camera

A render of the Samsung ISOCELL HP2 CMOS (camera sensor)
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's new camera may have been revealed quietly by Samsung, giving us a lot of insight into the Galaxy S23 series' biggest rumored upgrade.

The new 200MP camera sensor, the ISOCELL HP2, has been revealed in a Samsung press release, which confirms it is now being mass-produced for "tomorrow’s premium smartphones." That certainly sounds like the Galaxy S23 Ultra to us.

Samsung already released 200MP ISOCELL HP1 and HP3 sensors in 2021 and 2022 respectively, providing high-res photography to phones such as the Xiaomi 12T Pro. However, the Galaxy S23 Ultra was rumored some time ago to use an all-new 200MP Samsung-made sensor, so it seems like this could be the camera we've been waiting for.

A render of the Samsung ISOCELL HP2 CMOS (camera sensor)

(Image credit: Samsung)

According to Samsung's press release, the ISOCELL HP2 is a 1/1.3-inch sensor, a little larger than the 1/1.33-inch 108MP camera sensor used in the Galaxy S22 Ultra, made up of 0.6 micrometer (μm) pixels. That should mean no difference in the size of the Galaxy S23 Ultra's size to account for the new sensor, should it indeed be using it.

The HP2 's capable of producing 200MP, 50MP and 12.5MP images via pixel-binning (combining pixels' data together into larger virtual pixels), and can record 8K video at 30fps (using the 50MP mode for minimal cropping) or HDR 4K video at up to 60fps.

Other technologies that Samsung's showing off on the HP2 sensor include D-VTG (Dual Vertical Transfer Gate), which will in theory improve the color of shots taken in bright environments; a new and faster auto-focus system that will work better in low-light shots called Super QPD; as well as DSG and Smart-ISO Pro which boost HDR performance at different resolutions.

It's hard to judge how a camera will perform without actual test shots, so we'll save our judgement until we try out the Galaxy S23 Ultra, assuming that phone uses this HP2 sensor. While Samsung's arguably misguided by continuing to focus on camera resolution rather than other features, the specs for the ISOCELL HP2 are impressive at least.

The 200MP camera for the Galaxy S23 Ultra is the only major rear camera upgrade rumored for the whole Galaxy S23 series. There are other claims about upgrades to the selfie camera though, plus tips for a new design for the basic and Plus models and the use of the latest Snapdragon flagship chipset worldwide.

We'll be keeping an eye out for the Galaxy S23 series, and particularly the Galaxy S23 Ultra, at February 1's Galaxy Unpacked event. But until then, we'll be bringing you all the big leaks and news that help make the picture of these new phones clearer. 

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.