iPhone 14 Pro could have big camera upgrades, but still lag behind the S21 Ultra

iPhone 13 Pro
An iPhone 13 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)

Big upgrades could be coming for the cameras in the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, with both phones reportedly getting 48MP main snappers, up from 12MP on the current phones.

That’s according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (who has a great track record for Apple leaks), in a research note seen by MacRumors. This isn’t a new claim though – Kuo first said this back in April, he’s just reiterating it here.

Although the specs of the main camera have changed over the years, the megapixel count has stayed at 12MP since the iPhone 6S, so this would be an enormous shift if true.

While that’s all Kuo said about the cameras in this research note, he’s previously added that this 48MP snapper will also support 12MP shooting through pixel binning, and that 8K video will be supported too – with the footage then being viewable on the Apple AR/VR headset which is likely to land next year too.

Longer zoom is further out

Looking further ahead, Kuo in this latest note has said that the iPhone 15 range will include periscope cameras. This again is reiterating a previous claim, and the periscope design would allow for a much longer zoom range than the 3x optical zoom offered on the iPhone 13 Pro.

Kuo claims that at least one iPhone 15 model will support this, so it would presumably come to one or both of the Pro handsets, with the standard iPhone 15 (and iPhone 15 Max if there is such a phone) less likely to get a periscope camera.

While we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt, the fact that Kuo keeps making these claims – and has a good general track record – suggests that there’s a high chance this will pan out. Still, it’s very early for iPhone 14 leaks, let alone iPhone 15 ones, so anything could change.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra already has a periscope camera (Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Analysis: playing catch-up with Samsung

While these sound like big camera upgrades, it’s worth noting that the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra already has a periscope camera offering 10x optical zoom. A few other Android phones also have periscope cameras, so Apple has some catching up to do here.

And while more megapixels don’t always make for a better camera, Samsung has also packed 108 of them into the main snapper on the S21 Ultra – so rather more than the 48 that Apple is rumored to be using for the iPhone 14 Pro.

Plus, while Apple might finally offer a periscope camera on the iPhone 15 Pro, it’s likely that top Android phones will have moved on to the next big thing by then, whatever that might be.

Still, while Apple’s cameras lag behind in some respects, they don’t when it comes to performance, with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max jointly taking the top spot in our best camera phones guide – edging out the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Via GSMArena

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.