Samsung Galaxy S23 rumor hints that it won't use an under-display selfie camera

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (Image credit: Future)

The rumors around the Samsung Galaxy S23 are starting to pick up pace, and the latest to come to our attention concerns the selfie camera: it sounds as though Samsung isn't going to move to an under-display camera on the front of the phone just yet.

This comes from supply chain sources in South Korea (via Wccftech), and it means the Galaxy S23 phones will still have punch hole notches in the display like their predecessors. We may have to wait for the Galaxy S24 for this particular component to be changed.

There's no reason given for Samsung holding off on introducing a selfie camera under the screen, but there are plenty of possibilities: maybe Samsung isn't happy with the photo quality, or maybe it would push the price of the phone up too much.

All about the selfies

What makes this rumor slightly surprising is that there's a 4MP under-display camera embedded in the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Samsung knows how to make the technology and to make it work, even if the resulting photos and videos are relatively low resolution.

And that's probably the key consideration here. While we wouldn't take this as confirmation just yet, it makes sense that Samsung wouldn't want to sacrifice camera quality to be able to have a phone display that's free from any kind of cut out.

A few days ago we heard that the standard S23 and the S23 Plus models would be getting a selfie camera resolution bump to 12MP, so there are changes in the pipeline for this particular spec – even if Samsung is sticking with a conventional approach.

Analysis: perfecting the technology

We've seen under-display cameras on several handsets now, including the aforementioned Galaxy Z Fold 3 and other phones such as the Xiaomi Mix 4, but it's also fair to say that the technology isn't quite ready for primetime just yet.

While these selfie cameras hidden under the screen do work, the engineering challenges mean that the image quality isn't on a par with a conventional selfie camera – one that doesn't have to peer through pixels in order to snap a photo or capture a video.

Of course, over time there will be progress, just as there is in every other smartphone component. However, if Samsung decides to hold off on an under-display selfie camera on the Galaxy S23, it's another sign that more improvement needs to be made.

The Galaxy S23 is expected to launch in early 2023, but other phones launched next year may well feature the technology. It's actually rumored to be appearing in the Google Pixel foldable phone, which should make an appearance this year or next.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.