The Galaxy S20 Ultra, the highest-end model in Samsung’s newly unveiled S20 smartphone family, features multiple cameras, including a 108MP sensor, forming what the company refers to as a ‘groundbreaking’ mobile camera system. The phone is only available for preorder at this time, but a number of units have been shipped to tech reviewers, some of whom are reporting various camera issues ranging from autofocus problems to excessive skin smoothing.
The Verge and PC Mag are among the reviewers to describe some issues with the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s camera system, including times where it hunts for autofocus, sometimes failing to lock on to the subject. As well, the camera is said to excessively soften skin and faces, producing a heavily processed appearance. PC Mag in particular reports that the Ultra’s 100x zoom ‘isn’t that usable’ due to producing a tight and shaky picture with focus issues.
Android Central‘s Hayato Huseman shared a video recorded with the Ultra, which shows it struggling to focus for around the first five seconds of the recording:
— Hayato Huseman (@hayatohuseman) February 28, 2020
In response to complaints, Samsung told The Verge that as part of its effort to ‘optimize performance to deliver the best experience,’ it is ‘working on a future update to improve the camera experience’ offered by the S20 Ultra. That statement is quite vague, however, raising questions over whether these problems will be fixed before the phone arrives for consumers.
Michael Fisher of Mr. Mobile argued in a recent tweet thread that S20 Ultra reviews should proceed despite the promised update because, among other things, Samsung didn’t specify what its update will fix and when it will be made available. He also points out that the S20 Ultra is quite expensive (it costs $1400) and that ‘consumers deserve to know whether it’s worth that premium.’