One of the best features of the Galaxy S21 Ultra is its 10x optical zoom camera, and thanks to a recent announcement from Samsung, users can now look forward to that sensor coming to Android phones from other manufacturers. The S21 Ultra is equipped with a total of four rear cameras, but among all of them, the 10x zoom sensor is one of the most impressive — allowing for zoomed-in photos that retain a lot more detail than seen from most other smartphones.
Telephoto camera sensors aren’t anything new on phones. In fact, they’ve been present on flagships and budget devices alike for a few years now. That said, the quality of Samsung’s 10x sensor in the S21 Ultra has stood out as one of the best in the business. It allows users to get incredibly close to faraway subjects without losing precious detail, making it considerably more useful than a lot of its competitors. Now, users can look forward to a future where phones from other manufacturers can use that exact same tech.
Samsung Electro-Mechanics announced on March 1, 2021 that its 10x zoom camera is now ready for mass production and is being supplied to “global smartphone companies.” Samsung has yet to specifically name which smartphone brands it’s supplying the sensor to, but what this means is that companies like Google, OnePlus, LG, and others could theoretically use that same 10x zoom camera in upcoming releases. While the idea of having that 10x capability on other smartphones is exciting enough on its own, this is also an indicator Samsung is looking to become a more prominent supplier of camera tech for the rest of the industry.
So does this mean that upcoming releases like the Pixel 6 and OnePlus 9 will feature the same zooming capabilities seen in the S21 Ultra? Not exactly. Not only will it take time for Samsung to ship out the camera module to interested parties, but the implementation of the sensor is bound to vary from company-to-company. Every smartphone brand has its own custom image processing and tweaking it does to camera sensors. Even with those caveats in mind, the idea of getting more smartphones with that level of industry-leading zoom is really exciting.
Furthermore, it’s thrilling to think about a future in which Samsung mass produces other camera sensors it’s able to create in the coming months and years. If Samsung has another breakthrough with telephoto sensors or is able to revolutionize ultra-wide cameras, there’s now the possibility that those will also be made available for other manufacturers. It may be a while before users see the fruits of this labor, but it’s an exciting announcement nonetheless.