The Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy S21 Ultra share one of the best camera arrays you can find on any smartphone today, but it seems Samsung is ready to change things up on the next generation. According to a new report, the Galaxy S23 Ultra will offer a 200MP camera sensor.

Megapixels don’t always directly translate to quality when it comes to smartphones. The current 108MP sensor in Samsung’s “Ultra” devices has been in use for the past three generations, having started with the original Galaxy S20 Ultra in 2020. That release was taken down a notch, though, as poor software optimization and autofocus issues plagued the camera system. It wasn’t until the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and really the Galaxy S21 Ultra, that Samsung finally figured out how to use that sensor properly.

A report from ETNews claims that Samsung is preparing to up the ante in its next release, delivering a 200MP camera that could debut in the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The “ISOCELL HP3” – the name was pinned down in a past leak – sensor has apparently finished development and is preparing production plans. The camera sensor will be produced by both Samsung Electronics and Samsung Electro-Mechanics, with a 30/70% split.

The decision to use this new 200MP sensor in the Galaxy S23 Ultra apparently is not final just yet, but is Samsung’s current plan. If it were to go through, it would be the first major shift in Samsung’s primary camera sensor in over three years. As is usually the pattern, this high-megapixel, likely physically larger sensor would only be used in the “Ultra” device, with the standard S23 likely sticking with the 50MP sensor in the S22 lineup.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Samsung aiming for a 200MP sensor, though. For the Galaxy S22 generation, reports claimed the company would adopt a sensor of that size with the help of Olympus, but that turned out to be false. This year’s claim seems to be more likely, though, with the camera sensor being produced by Samsung directly, and with Nokia also rumored to be using a similar sensor.

Looking at the competition, the 200MP figure would certainly turn some heads towards the Galaxy S23 Ultra in terms of shock and awe. Google’s Pixel 6 series uses a 50MP sensor, while Apple’s latest iPhones are still equipped with mere 12MP camera sensors.

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Ben Schoon

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