Galaxy S24 Ultra Leak Hints At Massive Under-The-Hood Camera Improvements

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The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a photography champion among the best Android phones you can buy in 2023. While it is less than three months old, speculations about its successor have already started to pour in. The Galaxy S24 Ultra can be expected to bring significant functional upgrades to the already top-notch camera, and a new leak sheds more light on different improvements.

Tipster and Twitter user Revegnus has already revealed exciting details about the Galaxy S24 series. In a new set of leaks, they share information about the Galaxy S24 series' cameras and chipset. As per the leaker, the Galaxy S24 and the Galaxy S24 Plus smartphones will continue using Samsung's own ISOCELL GN3 50MP sensor, which is also present in the Galaxy S23 series.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is stated to feature a 200MP camera sensor once again but with under-the-hood changes. In addition, the Ultra gets an overhauled telephoto setup, as suggested by another reputed leaker a few months ago. 

Telephoto set for a remarkable upgrade

Starting with the changes to the telephoto setup, the Galaxy S24 Ultra is suggested to replace the separate 3x telephoto and 10x periscope cameras with a single camera. The substitute telephoto camera will function at 3x and 10x zoom levels per the leak.

While the leaker also hints this newer telephoto camera could feature a "variable" zoom, we can't say with certainty if they are referring to a range of zoom values between 3x and 10x or simply a setup that can work at both settings.

If the former is the case, it will require Samsung to equip the Galaxy S24 Ultra with a moving lens system, which is extremely rare in the smartphone world. The variation between 3x and 10x zoom systems can pose significant challenges to production, but Samsung has implemented similar mechanisms on much older phones such as the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Recently, LG demonstrated an optical zoom sensor with an adjustable zoom value between 4x and 9x, and Samsung might bring something similar.

On the other hand, if Samsung uses a hybrid system that switches between 3x and 10x zoom (instead of sliding between the range), it might be required to use a camera system that actively switches between lenses. This may not be easy to implement, and the increased number of moving parts may make the phone less durable in practice.

In either case, the leak leaves us curious and seeking more clarity.

More efficient 200MP sensor

Next, when it comes to the 200MP camera sensor, Revengus says it will be manufactured on a much more efficient 17-nanometer process, as compared to the existing 28nm process for the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will help Samsung make the sensor more compact.

Reducing sensor size comes with its own set of challenges, such as insufficient light capturing and higher noise. However, Samsung has overcome this in the past by consciously reducing the size of its 108MP camera sensor from the Galaxy S20 Ultra to the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Samsung compensated for the deficiencies of the smaller sensor by improving each pixel's color sensitivity.

In the longer run, we can expect the transition to allow Samsung to make image sensors with even larger megapixel counts.

Lastly, the leak also says the Galaxy S24 will be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, which may be replaced by the Exynos 2300 in select markets. The leaker also hints at Samsung deploying Sony's camera sensors and a much more advanced Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chip on the Galaxy S25 series.