The Galaxy S24 Ultra's zoom could leave the iPhone even further behind

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra cameras
A Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Other than a new 200MP primary sensor, Samsung didn’t upgrade a whole lot with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s cameras, but a new leak suggests that the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be in for some much bigger photographic improvements.

According to leaker @Tech_Reve, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra will have just one telephoto camera, in place of the two available on the current model. That might sound like a downgrade, but apparently the company is replacing the 3x and 10x lenses with a variable zoom lens that can move all the way from 3x to 10x.

That presumably means it will also be able to optically zoom to levels between 3x and 10x, such as 5x. On the current model, if you want to zoom to an in-between level you have to make use of digital zoom.

In fact, very few phones have variable optical zoom. The Sony Xperia 1 IV does, but only between 3.5x and 5.2x. So, if Samsung can pull this off, its zoom technology will likely be lightyears ahead of the competition, and we've already spoken about Apple's need to catch-up in this department.

That said, while the wording of the tweet suggests to us that you’ll be able to optically zoom at all levels between 3x and 10x, it’s possible that they simply mean you’ll be able to choose between 3x and 10x zoom with a single lens. In which case this might not be as much of an upgrade.

In any case, that’s not the only improvement that @Tech_Reve has mentioned. They also claim that the Samsung Galaxy S24 series will unsurprisingly have a new chipset – either the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, or the Samsung-made Exynos 2400. Though they suggest that the Snapdragon is more likely, with the Exynos possibly reserved for the Samsung Galaxy S24 FE.

Less excitingly, the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra will apparently have the same 200MP ISOCELL HP2 main sensor as the S23 Ultra, while similarly the Galaxy S24 and Galaxy S24 Plus will supposedly have the same 50MP ISOCELL GN3 sensor as the current models.

New cameras for the Galaxy S25

This extensive Samsung Galaxy S24 leak apparently wasn’t enough for @Tech_Reve, as they’ve also shared some details about the expected Samsung Galaxy S25 series.

Apparently the 50MP main camera used by the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus will be retired, possibly to be replaced by new a Sony sensor.

They also claim that the Samsung Galaxy S25 Ultra will get a new 200MP sensor with new technology, and that – unsurprisingly – the next generation Snapdragon or Exynos chipset will be used (namely the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 or the Exynos 2500).

While we’d take all of this with a pinch of salt – especially the Samsung Galaxy S25 details – @Tech_Reve has accurately leaked things in the past, and other leakers have previously suggested there could be significant changes to the S24 Ultra’s telephoto camera.

If these leaks do pan out, then the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra is sure to rank among the best camera phones, as well as the best phones overall. Though this leak doesn’t point to any overly exciting changes for the standard Galaxy S24 and the S24 Plus.

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.