Samsung’s next cheap phones could have fewer cameras – and that’s a good thing

A close-up of the cameras on a Samsung Galaxy A53
A Samsung Galaxy A53 (Image credit: Future)

It looks like Samsung could be taking a quality over quantity approach to the cameras on some of its upcoming phones, as a report suggests that the Galaxy A54, Galaxy A34 and Galaxy A24 will all have one fewer lens each than their predecessors.

Specifically, TheElec claims that none of these phones will have a depth sensor, leaving them with triple-lens setups where the Samsung Galaxy A53, Galaxy A33 and Galaxy A23 all have quad-lens camera configurations.

That’s good news, as while a decent depth sensor isn’t a total waste of time, (as it can aid with portrait shots and the like), the ones on cheap and mid-range handsets tend to be total filler that add little to nothing to the camera’s performance.

Of course, if Samsung was removing the depth sensors but keeping everything else the same that wouldn’t be great either, but according to this report the company will focus on strengthening the core camera offering. So presumably the money saved by not including a depth sensor will be pumped into the other lenses or sensors.

Speaking of which, apparently the Samsung Galaxy A54 will have a 50MP primary camera, a 5MP ultra-wide one, and a 5MP macro one, while the Galaxy A34 is said to have a 48MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 5MP macro. Finally, the Galaxy A24 will supposedly get a 50MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 5MP macro.

In terms of megapixel numbers then the Samsung Galaxy A24 will oddly be in the best shape if this is right, despite presumably being the cheapest of these phones, while the most premium – the Galaxy A54 – reportedly has the fewest total megapixels.

But that just goes to show that megapixels aren’t everything either. If they were then Apple’s 12MP handsets wouldn’t keep ranking among the best camera phones.

As well as potentially leading to camera improvements, ditching the depth sensor could also reduce costs – though whether those savings will be passed on to consumers remains to be seen.

As for when you might be able to buy these phones, the Samsung Galaxy A34 will apparently land in March, with the Galaxy A54 said to land in April. There’s no word on when the Samsung Galaxy A24 might launch, but the Galaxy A23 landed in March of this year, so a launch around March 2023 seems likely.

The camera viewfinder on a Samsung Galaxy A53

(Image credit: Future)

Analysis: less is more

This news is promising, assuming this report is accurate, as while a quad-lens camera might make for a good bullet point on the specs box, the actual quality of the cameras is likely to be improved by this change.

Ideally, it would be good to see Samsung go even further and ditch the macro cameras on those phones. Macro lenses on cheap phones also tend to be filler, and as these are reportedly just 5MP we’re not optimistic that they’ll be any good. So it would be nice to see Samsung either skip the macro lens or focus on making it actually worthwhile.

But this is a step in the right direction anyway and could help these handsets compete with the best cheap phones – most of which currently have either triple or quad-lens cameras, with some filler.

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.