Samsung Galaxy S23 Telephoto Camera May Disappoint Shutterbugs

We're about two months away from Samsung's next big Unpacked event, but the rumor mill is primarily focused on next year's flagship instead. Given what we've heard so far about the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, there might not be that much of a reason to be excited for the next foldable handsets anyway. Unless prices drop considerably and reliability increases significantly, many consumers will still see these devices as niche and luxury items. Naturally, that has more consumers looking forward to the Galaxy S23 series set to launch in 2023, but that, too, might come as a disappointment, especially for those hoping Samsung will step up its photography game.

To be fair, Samsung's mobile cameras are not that bad. Even the Galaxy Z Fold 3, which was heavily criticized for using hardware from previous years, performed decently in real-world use. The problem, at least in terms of public perception, is that Samsung seems to be holding back for no apparent reason. The company has plenty of imaging sensors available that it boasts about, but not all of them land in Samsung's own high-end smartphones.

The Galaxy S23 may not break free from tradition, at least based on information gathered by GalaxyClub. According to the Dutch website's sources, the 2023 flagship won't get a telephoto camera upgrade. That alone may be a bit disheartening, but it's just one part of the Galaxy S23's camera story, which some avid mobile photographers might find unfortunate considering the competition on the market.

Galaxy S23 camera details leak

The telephoto camera on the Galaxy S23 will reportedly have the same 10MP sensor as the Galaxy S22 this year, as well as the same 3x optical zoom capability. It should be noted that Samsung only recently upgraded to this camera in 2022, but that in itself is a strike against it. While other companies have already embraced 5x or higher levels of optical zoom, Samsung seems to be dragging its feet in this area.

That's not the only thing that may be staying the same, though. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is rumored to get one of Samsung's 200MP sensors for its main camera, but the cheaper Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ models may stick with the same 50MP sensor from the Galaxy S22. Again, Samsung might not be too quick to jump ship after introducing that camera this year, but it's not like it hasn't launched better sensors since then. Of course, it's also possible that the company may have made this decision in order to encourage consumers to buy the high-end Galaxy S23 Ultra when it launches.

A bigger issue, however, is the Galaxy S23 ultra-wide camera, which is alleged to still use the same 12MP sensor we've seen since the Galaxy S20 5G model. Not only hasn't it received any upgrades — at least according to the sources — but it has also reportedly been left by the wayside when it comes to the competition. A few rival photography-centric smartphones have embraced the strategy of using essentially the same sensors for their wide and ultra-wide cameras, reducing the gap in quality between the two.