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Samsung Galaxy S22 camera leak points to a fascinating change from the S21

Samsung Galaxy S21
(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Samsung Galaxy S22 leaks have been coming in a healthy stream for a few weeks already, and a new report points to an intriguing strategy change in the photography department.

Dutch website GalaxyClub has received some information on the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus - apparently, both devices will have a telephoto lens that facilitates 3x optical zoom, paired with a 10MP sensor.

Telephoto lenses are used for zooming in when taking photos, and the zoom limit is how far you can close the gap before the phone starts just cropping the image to get closer in, which is called digital zoom.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Plus use telephoto cameras that offer 3x hybrid zoom - that's a mixture of optical and digital - so the rumored S22 lens sounds like a step up. However, that was paired with a super-high-res 64MP sensor.

This leak doesn't refer to the 'Ultra' member of the Samsung Galaxy S22 family, but that'll likely have a periscope lens for even further zooming.


Analysis: is Samsung changing its camera strategy?

As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S21 had a higher-res sensor but worse lens, than the S22 is tipped to get, which points to a really intriguing change.

We can't tell just from the leak if that means zoomed-in pictures will look better or worse, as it depends on both the sensor and the lens, but it probably won't be hugely different either way.

The change in Samsung's strategy is interesting though as it suggests the company is focusing more on the lenses than the sensors. Perhaps we'll see improvements in other areas that line up, like an ultra-wide lens that has distortion correction or maybe a macro lens, which Samsung rarely uses.

Samsung makes the lenses it uses on its smartphones, so it's in control when it comes to changes like this. For context it makes most, but not all, the camera sensors for its devices.

We'll have to see if there are any similar changes for other parts of the Samsung Galaxy S22s camera array. We're expecting the handset to launch in January or February 2022 so we've got a few more months of leaks to get through first.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more. Outside of work he's an award-winning filmmaker, trained mixologist, expert baker, keen runner and okayish gamer.