Megapixel madness – Samsung's rumored 440MP sensor is just unnecessary

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
(Image credit: Samsung)

The latest rumors suggest that Samsung is preparing a 440MP sensor, potentially for inclusion in the Galaxy S25 Ultra that is likely due in the first quarter of 2025. Although, seriously, who needs a 440MP sensor?

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra had one of the largest sensors yet, with a 200MP sensor on the main camera, although if reports are true, then that record is about to be blown up. In reality, this camera by default actually took 12MP images after Samsung used all its clever pixel binning technology to improve the lighting and dynamic range as much as possible. This is also a normal and usable size of image for sharing on messaging apps or social media, with Instagram or WhatsApp downgrading images considerably to save data.

You could use the S23 Ultra’s full 200MP if you really wished with a special Pro mode in the camera app, and the pictures direct from the 200MP sensor are undeniably incredible quality, and far beyond anything the phone produces with its 12MP creations. However, the significant downsides were that this was firstly a slow process to take and store the images, but also the images were between 50-100MB each! You can get a Galaxy S23 Ultra with up to 1TB of storage, but even if you go for the top-of-the-line, it will still fill up fast.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra had a total of five camera, although only the main camera had a 200MP sensor. (Image credit: Basil Kronfli)

So if 200MP is a nightmare to actually work with, then why in the world would anybody need 440MP? At the end of the day, this might just be a flex from Samsung to show what they can do. Samsung is in a battle with Sony to show who can make the best sensors for phones, and they are not coming out on top, with Sony making nearly half of all image sensors, including the sensors in the most popular phone in the world – the iPhone. 

Sony isn’t as megapixel-hungry as Samsung, instead choosing to focus on technologies like subject recognition or stacked image sensor technology, so Samsung can really cut a niche when it comes to packing as many megapixels onto a chip as possible. If Samsung did implement a 440MP sensor, then in reality it would likely save images as much smaller sizes, and with formats like HEIF finally becoming more popular, file sizes are slowly decreasing while quality increases.

We still have several months until the Samsung Galaxy S24 range is revealed, let alone the Galaxy S25 Ultra, and I am sure we are going to be subjected to a lot more rumors before then.

Check out our top picks in our guides for the best camera phone, the best Android phone, or for Apple fans, the best iPhone.

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Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.