Samsung may be working on a 440MP mobile camera — could it come to Galaxy S25 Ultra?

Samsung may be working on a 440MP mobile camera — could it come to Galaxy S25 Ultra?
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra



(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hasn’t been announced yet, but the rumors about its successor are already floating about. And there’s speculation that the Galaxy S25 Ultra may come with a major boost in the camera department.

According to leaker @Tech_Reve, Samsung has already started working on three new ISOCELL mobile camera sensors — set to be mass produced in the second half of 2024. Those sensors include a 50MP lens with 1.6μm pixels, a 200MP lens with 0.6μm pixels and a 440MP lens with an unknown pixel size.

Samsung ISOCELL sensors being mass-produced in the latter half of 2024.- 200MP with 0.6μm HP7- 50MP with 1.6μm GN6- 440MP with ??μm HU1August 17, 2023

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@Tech_Reve later clarified that these lenses were being built for Samsung products, but the 200MP lens may have been canceled. The 50MP lens is also expected to be exclusive to China, but the fate of the 440MP lens is still unclear. There is a possibility that it could make its way to the Galaxy S25 Ultra — or some future phone.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that these sensors will be seen in Samsung products. The GN6 sensor is highly likely to be used by manufacturers in the Greater China region, and the HP7 sensor was initially planned for the S25U but was canceled due to its excessively high cost. https://t.co/2LC2se9TqUAugust 18, 2023

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The Galaxy S23 Ultra already upped the stakes in the camera department, offering a gargantuan 200MP resolution main camera and quality photos to match. While there’s far more to camera quality than high resolution, it’s only a matter of time before Samsung pushes that number even higher.

The question is whether it will be cost-effective to do so. Tech_Reve claims that the 200MP lens was planned for the S25 Ultra before it was scrapped for cost concerns. I’m no expert on the economics of phone parts, but I’d wager a 440MP lens is likely to cost even more. Then again Samsung already has 200MP camera phone lenses, and might just be content to reuse the same ones a few more times before upgrading — and saving the R&D money for the bigger option.

It’s also worth noting that the past few years did see a number of rumors relating to high-resolution ISOCELL cameras that never made it to the Samsung flagships right away.

It’s worth noting the past few years saw a number of rumors relating to high-resolution ISOCELL cameras that never made it to the Samsung flagships right away”

Then there are the old rumors about a 600MP camera that still hasn’t made any appearance in public in the three years since. Not that you’d need 600MP photography in your phone. The file sizes alone would be pretty prohibitive.

The Galaxy S25 Ultra is still pretty far out, and we’re going to have to wait and see how this particular rumor pans out. I wouldn’t bet money on a 440MP camera happening anytime soon, but then again I’d have said the same about a 200MP camera two years ago. There’s no telling what might happen over the next 17 months.

We’re certainly not expecting any major resolution increases on the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but we may well see a new hybrid telephoto lens — capable of offering variable optical zoom without needing multiple lenses to do it. You can read more about that, and the other upgrades on the way, in our Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra hub.

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Tom is the Tom’s Guide’s UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It’s long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

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