Which Samsung phones have a telephoto lens? The Super Guide

If you are hunting for which Samsung phones have a telephoto lens, we have the list for you. In addition, this article explains and shows you how to figure out which future models will have the same feature. This is because Samsung has a clear-cut strategy for determining which models get the feature.

How useful is a telephoto lens on a cell phone? Telephoto lens offer one major benefit – the ability to zoom in (Optical zoom) on a scene or a subject without losing any detail. Other phones offer digital zoom, which is the phone using clever software to crop into the subject you want to focus on. Optical zoom is true zoom. As such, Samsung phones with a telephoto lens enable you to take fantastic, detailed zoom shots.

Which Samsung phones have a telephoto lens?
Which Samsung phones have a telephoto lens?

These Samsung phones have a telephoto lens

Which Samsung phones have a telephoto lens? Here is a comprehensive list of Samsung smartphones equipped with a telephoto lens in the last three years. If you opt to buy any of these phones listed below, you would be getting a solid camera phone.

  1. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
  2. Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
  3. Samsung Galaxy S23
  4. Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
  5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4
  6. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G
  7. Samsung Galaxy S22+ 5G
  8. Samsung Galaxy S22 5G
  9. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
  10. Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G
  11. Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
  12. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE 5G
  13. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 5G
  14. Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G
  15. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  16. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
  17. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G
  18. Samsung Galaxy A72

Looking at the above list, you must have noticed a pattern: they are almost all premium and budget flagship models. All the Samsung phones with a telepoto lens are flagship models in the Galaxy S and Galaxy Z series, plus a top Galaxy A series model from 2021. Why is this?

A telephoto lens is an advanced piece of work, and an expensive item, too. As such, you don’t find entry-level Android phones with one. Outside of Samsung, some premium mid-rangers from other cell phone brands have the feature, but they are the creme-de-la-creme of the mid-range. Besides that, telephoto lenses are a rare occurrence outside of premium flagships.

As you can see from the list, Samsung put a telephoto lens in the Galaxy A72 models and abandoned the idea of telephoto lens in the A-Series after that, effectively now making it an all-flagship affair. There has not been a telephoto lens in an A-Series smartphone from Samsung in years.

Even Apple puts a telephoto lens in only its top iPhone models. The iPhone SE range lack a telephoto lens. In the iPhone 14 lineup, only the Pro Max model has a telephoto lens. I am sure you get the picture now. As a matter of fact, one easy way to tell if a camera phone is top notch is to check whether a telephoto lens is on the list of features and specs. If it is, you are looking at a solid camera phone.

To answer the question, Which Samsung phones have a telephoto lens? The answer is: premium flagship Samsung models. These are models in the S-series and Z-series. You can use this simple hack to figure out which future models will have telephoto lens. Of course, Samsung may change their approach at any time and include telephoto lens in other class of phones. But you can be sure that premium flagship Samsung models will almost always have it.

Samsung Galaxy S22 ultra 5G
The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a 10x optical zoom telephoto lens. See our hands-on review.

The best Samsung phone with a telephoto lens

Presently (as at December 2022 to Q1 2023), the best Samsung phone with a telephoto lens is the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G. Its amazing telephoto periscope camera allows for up to 10x optical zoom and has produced some of the most fantastic zoom photography ever on a mobile phone.

2023 Update: The Galaxy S23 Ultra is official and has pipped the S22 Ultra 5G to become the most capable Samsung phone with a telephoto lens. If you want the best Samsung camera phone, all you have to do is buy the top premium flagship model: it will surely have a telephoto lens and produce great photos and videos.

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