Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: All the rumors so far

Galaxy s25 Ultra concept design by Technizo Concept on YouTube
(Image credit: Technizo Concept)
Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra latest news

Updated April 2
• As with the Galaxy S24, Samsung reportedly plans to use a mix of Exynos and Snapdragon chipsets in the Galaxy S25.
• Samsung is considering updating its Bixby assistant with generative AI features.

You may not be thinking about the Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra at the moment, but rest assured that Samsung is. Even with January's Galaxy S24 launch still fresh in the mind, work on the next premier Samsung flagship is already well underway.

We know this because Galaxy S25 Ultra rumors are starting to emerge. We don't have nearly enough information at this point to get a full picture of next year's big phone release or how it compares to the best Samsung phones. But the tidbits we do have combined with Samsung's track record of smartphone updates should be enough to whet our appetite for more Galaxy S25 Ultra news. And we imagine the pace of rumors will only pick up steam in the coming months.

After Samsung put its full effort behind Galaxy AI features for this year's phones, expect that to continue with the Galaxy S25 lineup, including the Ultra. As for Samsung's high-end phone, we're already hearing that some camera improvements could be at the top of Samsung's to-do list, as the phone maker tries to show Apple what it takes to make the best camera phone.

Here's what we've heard so far about the Galaxy S25 Ultra, along with some of our best guesses as to what Samsung has planned. We've also got a wish list of Galaxy S25 Ultra features we want to see if you're looking for additional background on next year's flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: Rumored release date and price

Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2024.

(Image credit: Future)

It's far too early in the rumor cycle for the Galaxy S25 Ultra to say definitively when the new phone will arrive. Outside of an early 2025 release window, your guess is as good as ours.

That said, in recent years, Samsung has been gradually moved up the release date for the Galaxy S series, which used to arrive in the February/Mach time frame. This year's Galaxy S24 release was the earliest ever, with a Galaxy Unpacked event taking place on January 17, and the S24 models shipping two weeks later on January 31.

If Samsung moves up the Galaxy S25 Ultra release date any earlier, the launch event would collide with CES 2025, an event where Samsung typically focuses on its TVs and smart home products. So we'd guess that at the earliest, we're looking at another mid-January Galaxy Unpacked event focusing on Samsung's new phones.

Samsung raised the price on the Galaxy S24 Ultra this year, charging $1,299 for the phone after the Galaxy S23 Ultra had cost $1,199. That would seem to preclude a price hike for the Galaxy S25 Ultra, but the cost premium phones is on the rise. We'll likely hear more about pricing plans toward the end of 2024.

Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy S24

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Having just switched to titanium for the frame of the Galaxy S24 Ultra, we don't imagine Samsung would make a change for the S25 version. Likewise, Samsung has used the same basic design for recent Ultras, with the cameras stacked in vertical rows on the back of the phone and the lenses emerging slightly from the rear. We don't think that's going to change, either, but leaked CAD renders that are sure to start arriving in the coming months will tell the tale.

A Galaxy S25 rumor tips the display on Samsung's entry-level model to increase in size, hitting 6.36 inches compared to 6.2 inches for the Galaxy S24. A similar rumor claims that the Galaxy S25 Ultra screen will approach 6.9 inches, a marginal increase over the 6.8-inch display on the S24 Ultra, but we're not sure how much stock to put into that claim.

Recently, phone makers have been trying to one up each other by boosting the maximum brightness of their handsets' displays. Indeed, Samsung has played this game, too, raising the peak brightness of the Galaxy S24 Ultra to 2,600 nits, after the Galaxy S23 Ultra clocked in at 1,750 nits. We wouldn't be surprised to see the Galaxy S25 Ultra raise the stakes further.

Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: Cameras

Galaxy s25 Ultra concept design by Technizo Concept on YouTube

(Image credit: Technizo Concept)

Cameras form the centerpiece feature of the Ultra model, as that's the phone Samsung favors with a 200MP main sensor along with a 100MP Space Zoom feature. We'd expect some sort of upgrade to that setup next year, and early Galaxy S25 Ultra camera rumors suggest we may be on to something.

Specifically, a leaker claims that the wide-angle lens on the Galaxy S25 Ultra will get an unspecified upgrade while the ultrawide lens will jump from a 12MP sensor on the S24 Ultra to a 50MP one on the new phone. 

Furthermore, the telephoto lens on the S25 Ultra is expected to get "variable capabilities." We're not sure what that means exactly, but we'd guess it has something to do with the ability to change focal length while connecte to a single sensor. The end result would be smoother zooms particularly when shooting video.

If you're wondering how much stock to put in that rumor, which surfaced before the Galaxy S24 lineup was released, know that the leaker did correctly predict the Galaxy S24 Ultra's upgraded 50MP telephoto lens before that feature's arrival.

Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: Performance and battery

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review.

(Image credit: Future)

You'd expect the Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra will run on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset, given the use of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 in the Galaxy S24 Ultra. (Indeed, this year's Ultra is the only S24 model to rely exclusive on Qualcomm silicon, as the standard Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus both use the Exynos 2400 system-on-chip in models released outside North America.) Qualcomm has already confirmed we'll be seeing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 in October, so the timeline lines up with an early 2025 relese for Samsung's phone.

Early Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 benchmarks have already leaked out, and while you should never completely trust unvetted numbers like that, they do paint a rosy picture for the chipset's performance. According to the leaked Geekbench results, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 matches the top score produced by an A18 Bionic-powered iPhone. (And yes, those A18 numbers are also leaked since that chip won't come out until the fall at the earliest with the iPhone 16 release.) 

There's talk that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will have a 4.3Ghz prime core, after the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 topped out at 3.4GHz. That's a pretty big jump in power, and it will require Samsung and Qualcomm to figure out how to pack such a chipset into a mobile device without causing it to overheat.

There's one potential wrinkle to the Galaxy S25 Ultra's system-one-chip — one rumor suggests it won't be provided by Qualcomm. Instead, the rumor posted by someone named @OreXda on X claims that Galaxy S phone will only use Exynos silicon in 2025. Before you take that rumor as gospel, though, realize that @OreXda immediately seemed to dismiss the report as "just a rumor I heard... not my source."

A more credible rumor suggests that the Galaxy S25 models will use a mix of Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 and Exynos 2500 chipsets, much like the Galaxy S24 did. If Samsung follows the Galaxy S24 playbook to the letter, that would mean the Galaxy S25 Ultra would likely stick with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 exclusively, while the S25 and S25 Plus models would use the Exynos silicon in some instances. It's a significant distinction as even our Galaxy S24 benchmarks indicated that the Exynos models of the Galaxy S24 lagged slightly behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3-powered phones.

As for battery life, we're not sure how Samsung could squeeze in a bigger power pack than the 5,000 mAh cell in the Galaxy S24 Ultra. Since that device landed on our best phone battery life list with a 16-hour, 45-minute result on our battery test, we're not exactly worried about Galaxy S25 Ultra battery life. We would like to see Samsung boost the Ultra's wired charging speed to something faster than the current 45W.

Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: Software

Galaxy AI banner at Galaxy Unpacked 2024

(Image credit: Future)

By the time the Galaxy S25 Ultra arries, Android 15 will already be out, as we're currently at the second developer preview for that software release. We'd imagine the Galaxy S25 phones will get the same seven years of software support that the Galaxy S24 receives.

Another expectation of ours: the Galaxy S25 Ultra will add more Galaxy AI features similar to the ones that debuted with the S24 lineup. There's no word on what those features will be or whether some will be earmarked as exclusives for the higher-end Ultra. With the Galaxy S24, the same Galaxy AI features were supported by all three models, so the entry-level S24 can pull off the same tasks as the premium Ultra.

Samsung executives have already raised the possibility of one potential Galaxy AI update themselves, as Won-joon Choi, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, discussed possibly equipping the Bixby personal assistant with generative AI capabilities.

Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra: Outlook

Though it may be early for you and I to be thinking about the Galaxy S25 Ultra, it's a safe bet Samsung has already put a lot of thought into what goes into its next device. And we should find out more about those efforts throughout the year, as we get closer to the S25 Ultra's 2025 launch date.

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Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.