The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will have six cameras

We got another Galaxy S21 leak now that seems to validate some of the specs released by WinFuture that have been circulating around. In the run-up to Samsung’s January launch, details about and pictures of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S21-series phones have landed almost daily. We now have a clearer understanding of what to expect, particularly in the camera department, with this latest leak. In short, a major part of Samsung’s attempt to take on the extremely competent iPhone 12 Pro Max seems to be the hardware.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will have six cameras
Photo: Voice/Evan Blass

Allegedly, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will deliver 3x and 10x telephoto cameras, both with optical image stabilization (72mm and 240mm equivalent focal lengths, respectively). Especially in comparison with the three rear sensors of the S20 Ultra, that’s one extra rear-facing camera.

A folded optical layout like that of the S20’s telephoto camera will be used for the S21’s 10x lens. We foresee Samsung to deliver hybrid zoom again, going even further than the optical range of 10x.

Any other small updates to the camera appear to be on the way, too. A slightly larger 24mm (versus 26mm) equivalent lens is obtained by the main 108-megapixel camera. This will also offer laser-assisted autofocus: something that was not provided by the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra but later implemented by the Note 20 Ultra. And WinFuture states that, considering the on-paper similarity of the main camera sensor to the last generation, this is a new sensor that should provide better image quality than the last one.

To rival the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which we believe is the best smartphone camera on the market currently, Samsung will need every strength. Samsung has traditionally taken more of a mobile imaging hardware-heavy approach, gradually using its own house-made sensors rather than picking Sony’s off the shelf, and early embracing dual and triple-lens cameras on its smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will have six cameras
Photo: WinFuture

Part of the reason Samsung relied so heavily on advanced hardware is that either Apple or Google hasn’t keep up with its device photography. It has come up to par with features like Night Mode just recently. But it’s another year now and more testing needs to be done to catch up to the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Video can prove to be a cause for Samsung to level Apple’s playing field, too. It is one place where, without the right hardware behind it, software can only do so much. The S21 Ultra will have 8K recording to the 12 Pro Max’s 4K, but the evidence will be in the videos. Samsung usually has major specs to advertise when it comes to video. In this region, Samsung states it is dedicated to continuing to push its technologies.

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Non-Camera-Related Details

In WinFuture’s study, there are a few notable non-camera-related information. A 6.8-inch display with adjustable refresh rates from one to 120Hz, a battery-saving change also adopted from the Note 20 Ultra, confirms these specifications. There is S Pen help as well, which will be sold independently.

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By shipping the S21 devices without wall chargers in the package, Samsung will also follow Apple’s lead. Like Apple, the firm will presumably cite the environmental benefits as the reason for this move, while cynics among us will remember that it is also beneficial to the bottom line of each corporation. But e-waste avoidance is definitely a positive thing, and the use of USB-C by Samsung rather than a proprietary connector scores even more environmental bonus points.

For the S21 Ultra, there is no confirmed release date or pricing yet although sources point to a January 14th release.

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