Samsung Galaxy S11 camera could have a 108MP sensor, as well as a powerful zoom

Samsung Galaxy S10
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung's next expected flagship smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy S11, which will likely launch in early 2020 – and a new leak has suggested it will come with camera tech to blow all other Samsung smartphones out of the water.

The leak comes from Korean news site The Elec, which claims the Galaxy S11 will come with both a 108MP camera sensor, and a periscope lens that supports up to 5x optical zoom.

We've heard of Samsung's 108MP camera sensor before, when the company unveiled it, although at the time we thought it was destined for a Xiaomi smartphone. So far we haven't seen a handset sold with the snapper, although the Mi Mix Alpha concept phone has it, and rumors suggest Xiaomi is working on a few others.

A 108MP sensor would have far more megapixels than snappers you get in smartphones currently, which top out at 48MP. The newer camera would capture colors, light and contrast, to a better degree, and would take more detailed pictures so you could zoom in on them without them losing quality.

On top of that, The Elec suggests the Galaxy S11 will come with a periscope lens that facilitates 5x optical zoom – that means you'll be able to zoom in five times without losing image quality. 

This optical zoom could potentially overlap with the 108MP sensor however, allowing you to digitally zoom to get in even closer. Digital zoom involves cropping an image as you zoom in, and with 108MP you could get in pretty close while having a high-quality image.

But is this likely?

It's worth pointing out that The Elec is by no means a proven or reliable source, so take the leak with a pinch of salt. However, since Samsung phones are made in Korea, the local press often has close ties with manufacturers, so it's not out of the question that this is correct.

There are other reasons to doubt the leak though. The Samsung Galaxy S10 came with a 16MP and two 12MP snappers, which are rather low megapixel counts.

If Samsung were to deck the Galaxy S11 out with this 108MP snapper, it would be a change of tack for the company, which would see it pursuing higher numbers in its cameras like Chinese smartphone companies.

This seems rather unlikely as Samsung, like Apple, seems content with its mid-teen megapixel count at the moment – in its flagships, at least.

It's worth pointing out that Samsung has used 48MP snappers, like in the Galaxy A80, but it seems this is only for its mid-range A series. It would be a big change for Samsung to bring a high megapixel sensor to its S, or even Note, range.

We'll find out whether the Samsung Galaxy S11 does or doesn't have a 108MP camera sensor and 5x optical zoom in February or March 2020 when we're expecting to see the new smartphones. Stay tuned to TechRadar until then for all the latest leaks and news.

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. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.