Samsung Galaxy S20 might have a better zoom camera than the S20 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
The S20's zoom lens could have a lot more megapixels than the S10 Plus, above (Image credit: Future)

The Samsung Galaxy S20 range is rumored to have very impressive cameras, and while the Galaxy S20 Ultra is sure to have the best selection overall (likely headlined by a 108MP main sensor), the standard Samsung Galaxy S20 and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus might actually have better telephoto lenses.

Or at least, they might have higher megapixel ones, with @UniverseIce (a leaker with a good track record) saying that they will have a 64MP telephoto sensor, while previous leaks peg the S20 Ultra’s at ‘just’ 48MP.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard the 64MP claim, but the more we hear it the more likely it is to be accurate, and @UniverseIce has also gone into more detail about how it will work.

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For one thing, it will apparently only take 64MP photos, rather than being able to combine pixels to take photos with a lower megapixel count but with larger pixels and therefore better low light performance. That’s a feature that’s typically known as ‘Quad Bayer’, and it’s something we’re seeing on a growing number of smartphone cameras – but not here apparently.

The source also states that this 64MP snapper will be used for recording 8K video, which makes sense, since the other rear cameras on the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus are rumored to just be 12MP, so wouldn’t be up to the task. It's not exactly clear if a 64MP will allow 8K capture though, as Samsung's previous 108MP sensor only had the capability to shoot in 6K (an ability which hasn't been utilized in any devices so far)

Finally, they state that the zoom will be achieved through ‘pixel cropping’, which is a bit concerning, as that would mean it’s a digital rather than optical zoom, which is rather unimpressive for a 2020 flagship.

However, we’d say it’s unlikely that Samsung would skip optical zoom altogether on these phones. What’s more likely is that pixel cropping can be used in combination with an optical zoom to get in even closer to the subject, and this tech is known as hybrid zoom.

In any case, we’ll know the truth soon, as the Samsung Galaxy S20, Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra are all expected to be unveiled on February 11.

  • Lots of flagships are likely to land at MWC 2020

Via SamMobile

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.