Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Rumors: A Shift in Zoom Capabilities Ahead?

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is rumored to replace its 10x optical zoom with a 5x periscope camera for improved low-light photography, potentially impacting the 100x Space Zoom feature. Conflicting rumors persist ahead of the devices anticipated release in four months.

If you're on the hunt for a smartphone with exceptional zoom capabilities, Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra has been the go-to choice. The South Korean tech giant has set the bar high by offering 10x optical and 100x digital zoom on its flagship phones since the Galaxy S21 Ultra's introduction in 2021. While several top Android favorites also boast periscope lenses, they are generally limited to a 5x optical zoom range. However, the forthcoming Galaxy S24 Ultra might be poised to relinquish its throne as the reigning telephoto champion, as Samsung appears to be planning to drop the 10x shooter from its 2024 flagship.

Notorious leaker Ice Universe has suggested that the Galaxy S24 Ultra will feature a 3x 10MP optical shooter and a 50MP 1/2.52" periscope camera offering 5x optical zoom with a 0.7μm pixel size (via Android Authority). Interestingly, the rumored 50MP 5x sensor is larger than the 10MP periscope shooter currently employed in the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Paired with a wider aperture, the 50MP camera is expected to excel in capturing more light and delivering highly detailed photos, especially in challenging lighting conditions. Samsung could leverage these additional details in tandem with its AI capabilities to achieve a 10x zoom with minimal visible loss in image quality.

Google has already pursued a similar strategy with the Pixel 7 Pro, employing a larger 48MP 5x periscope shooter and Super Res Zoom technology to provide up to 30x digital zoom. While image quality may degrade at higher zoom levels, the phone manages to capture remarkably usable photos within the 6-15x zoom range.

Nonetheless, the dedicated 10x periscope camera remains highly valuable, particularly for video recording purposes. Its long-range zoom capabilities enable users to capture unique perspectives from a distance. However, it's worth noting that image quality can deteriorate rapidly in challenging lighting scenarios due to the relatively small sensor size.

Should Samsung transition to a 5x periscope camera, it raises questions about whether the Galaxy S24 Ultra will continue to offer the much-touted 100x Space Zoom feature, which has been a cornerstone of marketing since the debut of the Galaxy S21 Ultra. There were prior speculations that the Galaxy S24 Ultra might adopt a 50MP 3x telephoto camera to enhance image quality beyond the 3x zoom range, but it appears that such a shift is not in the cards.

With the official release of the Samsung Galaxy S24 lineup still at least four months away, it's safe to anticipate a steady stream of conflicting rumors to keep surfacing in the interim.

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