The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is again tipped to get a 200MP camera sensor

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, with a 108MP main sensor (Image credit: Future)

We're very much looking forward to seeing what Samsung has in store for us with its Galaxy S23 flagship next year, and the rumor is that the rear camera might be getting a major upgrade: all the way up to 200MP for the main sensor on the Ultra model, if the latest leak is to be believed.

This comes from ET News (via Android Police), and is apparently based on information that the Samsung Electronics' Mobile Experience (MX) division has been sharing with its industry partners.

We know that 200MP sensors are real – the Samsung ISOCELL HP1 already features in the Moto X30 Pro, for example – but the question is whether or not Samsung will decide to include it in one or more of its flagship smartphones in 2023.

A long-running rumor

This isn't the first time that this rumor has emerged, and it's actually been swirling since last year. The sources on this are ones that are usually reliable, so it looks likely that this will come to pass – though nothing is certain until it's official.

If it does appear in the Samsung Galaxy S23 range, the 200MP sensor is apparently only going to show up in the Ultra model. That matches the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which has a 108MP main sensor versus a 50MP main sensor in the other models.

Everything will be revealed next year, and at the moment it looks as though February will be the month when the Galaxy S23 sees the light of day – and we're saying February primarily because that's the month when the Galaxy S22 was launched.

Analysis: the meaning of megapixels

More megapixels means more pixels in your final image, which means it can be blown up to bigger sizes without any loss in quality – or at least that's the theory. However, megapixels is just one part of the story when it comes to camera phone quality.

It's also about what manufacturers can do with those pixels, and while Samsung has traditionally been pretty good with its camera setups, it's important not to assume that a phone camera is going to be great just because it's packing in more megapixels.

As we've written about before, all kinds of other factors come into play as well, including the size of the pixels (which is an indicator of how much light they can capture. We'll have to wait until we've tested the Galaxy S23 Ultra to see how impressive the camera setup is.

And remember that 200MP sensors don't necessarily mean 200MP photos – cameras use a technology called pixel binning to improve image quality, where data from multiple pixels gets combined, so the end results are often smaller than the sensor might suggest.

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.