According to frequent tipster Ice Universe on Weibo (h/t: SamMobile), Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra will offer a camera capable of continuous optical zoom.
Even Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra, which offers a 3X telephoto camera and a 10X periscope camera, still uses hybrid zoom and image fusion tech to deliver zoom for anything other than 1X, 3X, and 10X.
Aside from delivering better quality at these intermediate zoom factors, a continuous zoom camera that reaches all the way from 2X/3X to 10X would theoretically allow Samsung to drop the S21 Ultra’s 10X camera or swap it out for a different camera altogether (e.g. 20X).
The new Sony phones offer a periscope camera with variable zoom, but this camera is only capable of switching between 3X and 5X.