The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra could be the most disappointing phone of 2024

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review camera
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

When you think about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, one of the first things that probably comes to mind is its 10x optical zoom, as this is a feature Samsung reserves for its Ultra handsets, and one that almost no other phones can match. But it’s also a feature that bafflingly Samsung might ditch on the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra.

This is according to leaker @UniverseIce, posting on X (formerly known as Twitter), who has a reasonable track record for leaks.

They don’t say what will be offered in its place, but for reference the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a 200MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide, a 10MP telephoto with 3x optical zoom, and a 10MP periscope, offering 10x optical zoom. So it’s the last of those that might be absent.

We would however take this with a pinch of salt, for a wealth of reasons, starting with the fact that it seems a very strange thing to do.

The 10x zoom is one of the key features of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, so ditching it would surely harm the phone’s popularity. Unless of course it was replaced with something better, like 15x zoom, but @UniverseIce’s post sounds more negative than that.

Now seems a more important time than ever for Samsung to hold onto this feature too, as Apple has just launched the iPhone 15 Pro Max with a 5x optical zoom, bringing this rival brand closer to matching Samsung’s zoom skills than ever before.

On top of that, we’re not sure how confident in this claim the source actually is. They recently said the same thing before deleting the post, and they’ve previously made numerous conflicting claims about the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra’s camera system.

In fact, so far there hasn’t been much agreement on what cameras the Galaxy S24 Ultra will have. Why that is isn’t clear – perhaps the company has been testing a number of different options. But it does mean there’s a high chance this leak is wrong.

We certainly hope so, because the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the very best camera phones, and the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra might struggle to match it without a 10x zoom.

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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.