Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra could have shorter but better zoom than the S20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra can zoom in a long way, but not very well. (Image credit: Future)

One of the key selling points of the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra – at least on paper – is its 100x zoom camera, but in practice it shouldn’t be, as the results leave something to be desired. It seems Samsung might have learned its lesson for the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra though, based on a new leak.

According to @UniverseIce (a leaker with a good track record) the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra will top out at 50x zoom, but Samsung will apparently “optimize the zoom experience” at that level and offer “more focus on the experience.”

They don’t say how that will be achieved or how much impact it will have, but if accurate then it does sound like the 50x zoom might be a lot more usable than the longer zoom of many other smartphones.

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There will of course be limits to what Samsung can achieve though. At 50x, the phone will almost certainly be relying on software more than hardware (since it probably wouldn’t be possible to fit a 50x optical zoom into a normal sized smartphone), and in using software the image quality is inevitably decreased.

That’s why 100x zoom on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a blurry mess (because the lenses aren’t truly capable of zooming in that far), so while a lesser 50x zoom with more optimizations should be a step up in overall quality, it remains to be seen how much by.

This assumes @UniverseIce is even correct of course, and as always we’d take leaks and rumors with a pinch of salt. We should find out for sure in August, as that’s when the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 range is likely to launch.

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, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.