Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could feature variable telephoto lens — what it means for you

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra camera close up
(Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra only arrived a couple of months ago, but we’re already starting to hear rumors about what the Galaxy S24 Ultra might have in store. Now we're getting more details about the cameras, and what kind of upgrades we might be able to expect.

According to @Tech_Reve on Twitter, the Galaxy S24 Ultra could ditch the standalone 3x telephoto lens. Instead the leaker claims the phone will come with a single 3-10x variable telephoto lens. 

Variable telephoto lenses are not entirely new, and first appeared on the Sony Xperia 1 III and Xperia 5 III back in 2021.The idea there is that the lens uses a periscope design and has the ability to change the focal length while connecting to a single sensor. In Sony’s case it means you could opt for static 3x or 5x zoom, while digital zoom covered everything in between.

If this latest leak is correct, Samsung might be pushing that technology a little further and doubling the maximum zoom — which is pretty cool when you think about it. The longer the optical zoom in a lens the better quality photos of far-off things will be. Because, let’s be honest, digital zoom can only do so much — even if you have a super-high-res camera like the S24 Ultra will no doubt include.

Plus, combining two zoom factors into a single lens means there’s more room for other things. That could be an extra lens, or Samsung could revert back to a triple lens camera and use that space for something else.

Samsung Galaxy S24: Other rumored specs

Tech_Reve also claims that the S24 series will run on the 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which isn’t a huge surprise. They also suggest that a 4nm Exynos 2400 chipset is a possibility, though it’s unlikely this chip will be available for devices sold in the U.S.

But that’s not all. Tech_Reve claims to know some details about the Galaxy S25, which isn’t due to arrive until 2025. Apparently the phone will run on 3nm chips, either the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 or the Exynos 2500. Not that you need to have deep insider knowledge to figure that out.

They also posit that there will be another 200MP camera “with lots of new technology”. Which sounds great, though they don’t really go into any detail about what that might be. Considering how far off the launch of the Galaxy S25 is, it’s likely far too early to say with any level of certainty.

The Samsung Galaxy S24 series isn’t going to arrive until the start of 2024, at the earliest, so there’s a long time to wait before we get any confirmation on this particular rumor. The Galaxy S25 likely won't arrive until early 2025.

So as interesting as these upgrades could be, especially that variable telephoto lens, we’re just going to have to sit tight and be patient. In the meantime the launch of the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 is much closer, so be sure to check out the latest rumors and news around Samsung’s next wave of foldables.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.