Samsung Galaxy S20 camera won't be as good as we've heard, new leak suggests

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus (Image credit: Future)

We've heard so many Samsung Galaxy S20 rumors that seem too good to be true, that it's almost reassuring when we hear a claim that's a little less 'out there' and a little more plausible, and that's what we've got here – a new leak has suggested the upcoming phone will 'only' have 5x optical zoom.

That comes from Korean site TheElec, a publication which often publishes industry information. The site claims that a parts manufacturer has started providing the telephoto lens for the Samsung Galaxy S20 / S11, and it's only a 5x module, not 10x as several rumors have suggested.

While 10x optical zoom would be an impressive first for a phone, 5x is a lot more plausible in a handset, as we've seen devices like the Huawei P30 Pro and Oppo Reno 10x Zoom pack that level of magnification before. TheElec also has a respectable track record for insider information, which lends credence to the claim.

Saying that, Samsung makes multiple phone ranges other than the Galaxy S devices, and it's also totally possible different devices in the Galaxy S20 / S11 range have different zoom distances, so we can't say for certain that this 5x zoom lens is bound for all the Samsung Galaxy S20 / S11 phones.

Is this negative leak a good thing?

Some people might be disappointed if the Samsung Galaxy S20 / S11 ships with weaker camera capabilities than prior news suggested, but in the build-up to the phone's launch there's been a torrent of leaks, with each piece of information more extravagant and fantastical than the last.

It has gotten to the point where leaks read more like wish lists than actual potential specs lists, which makes it hard to believe everything we're hearing.

This new leak, suggesting the Galaxy S20 / S11 will match its competition and not trump it by a mile, is a refreshing breath of cool air compared to some of the wild stuff we've been hearing, and we'd welcome more leaks which present specs that sound this plausible.

Don't get us wrong, we wouldn't exactly be disappointed if the upcoming smartphone came with a 10x optical zoom lens. But it's worth questioning everything you hear about a phone before its launch, and not believing all the specs just because they're fantastic.

We'll find out the truth about the anticipated and much-rumored Samsung Galaxy S20 / S11 series on February 11 when it's set to debut. Check back to TechRadar then as we cover the event and the new smartphones.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.