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Galaxy S23 Ultra photo sample leak hints at massive gains

An alleged image taken by the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has appeared to leak online, hinting at a remarkable advance in image quality.

The image, as supplied by a established Samsung tipster Ice Universe, appears to be a crop taken from the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s new 200-megapixel ISOCELL HP2 main camera sensor, which the company announced earlier this week.

According to the leaker, the image isn’t taken from the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s telephoto or periscope cameras, but rather represents a 12x enlargement of the main wide camera.

Usually with this level of cropping in, we’d expect to see a bunch of pixellation and signs of the heavy image processing that every smartphone camera has to employ. However, this image is relatively clear of such digital artifacts.

If this is indeed a Galaxy S23 Ultra camera leak, we could be looking at a major advance in smartphone image quality from Samsung’s forthcoming flagship. In subsequent tweets, Ice Universe claims that the quality of the photos from the ISOCELL HP2 sensor look “completely different” from previous high-resolution Samsung sensors, with a distinct lack of sharpening for a “delicate and natural” look.

Of course, this shouldn’t be taken at face value. Even if this is indeed taken from the Galaxy S23 Ultra, it doesn’t offer any insight into the general shooting experience with the new phone.

Things like shooting speed, autofocus speed, low light performance, and overall image quality (not just sharpness) are still up in the air, and only a thorough hands-on review will reveal such things. Still, it’s a deeply encouraging sign.

Samsung will announce the Galaxy S23 Ultra alongside the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus at an Unpacked event on February 1.

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