Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra not equipped with a type 1-inch camera allegedly due to design concerns
Samsung officially unveiled its latest premium CMOS sensor a few days ago. The ISOCELL HP2 is a 200 MP camera that will arrive on the upcoming Galaxy S23 Ultra. Albeit impressive, the HP2 has a physical size of just 1/1.3", making it smaller than a sensor like the IMX989 but it appears Samsung had a reason for that.
According to Ice Universe, Samsung's decision to equip the Galaxy S23 Ultra with a 1/1.3" sensor like the HP2 boils down to design constraints. Even though it offers a resolution of 200 MP, the S23 Ultra's HP2 is hardly any bigger than the 108 MP HM3 on last year's Galaxy S22 Ultra. It, for example, pales in the face of Sony's type 1-inch IMX989 that went mainstream on the Xiaomi 12S Ultra last year and is set to feature on a host of flagships this year—already starting with the Vivo X90 Pro and Xiaomi 13 Pro.
Going by the leaker's post, opting for a larger type 1-inch sensor would've increased the thickness of the Galaxy S23 Ultra by a margin Samsung wouldn't tolerate, at the same time also affecting "inner structure design". Instead, however, Samsung is said to be more willing to work with the 1/1.3-inch size, while improving sensor performance in other ways.
Inevitably, though some may lean towards writing this off as corporate excuses for cost-cutting, it's not entirely baseless. According to GSMArena, the Xiaomi 12S Ultra dialed in at a thickness of 9.1 mm, with the Vivo X90 Pro Plus going even further at 9.7mm. Comparatively, the Galaxy S23 Ultra is expected to check in at 8.9mm. Phones with type 1-inch sensors are consistently thicker, it seems. It becomes a debate of compromises and one unlikely to ever be anything but subjective.