Future Galaxy S23 camera update will boost your portrait-taking game

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra i vitt
(Image credit: Daniel Hessel)

If you like your Galaxy S23 camera system today, you might like it even more next month as Samsung is apparently implementing a 2x zoom for portrait mode.

This information comes from a moderator on the official Samsung Korean forums responding to another user asking for fixes to be made to portrait photography on the flagship device. According to a translation provided by Android Police, 2x zoom will arrive in the next software update, which is expected to roll out by the end of the month.

If you’re curious to know what the big deal is, think of 2x zoom as a Goldilocks mode for portrait photography on smartphones. The 1x zoom on the S23 is great for taking wide-angle shots while the 3x zoom is good for close-ups or taking a picture of far-off landmarks. However, neither is the best for taking portraits. With 2x zoom, you have this nice in-between option that’s just right. A similar mode is available on the iPhone 14 Pro, and in fact, it was one of the reasons why we liked its camera so much. 

It is unknown whether or not every phone in the S23 line will get the feature as only the standard model is specifically mentioned. When asked about the mode potentially rolling out to the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the moderator states there’s a possibility, although there’s nothing set in stone as 2x zoom will have to roll out to the Galaxy S23 first.

We reached out to Samsung for confirmation on 2x zoom coming to its flagship line. This story will be updated if we hear back.

HDR fixes

The fixes don’t stop there. A recent leak from notable industry insider Ice Universe on Twitter shows Samsung developers are working on addressing a problem with the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s HDR (high-dynamic range) feature. The error is a bug that causes pictures of objects taken in either low-light or indoor conditions to have a strange glow to them. The effect is exacerbated if the primary lighting source is in the shot. Object details are also lost making things look more rubbery. Reportedly, this is caused by something going wrong with the “exposure value frame and local tone-mapping” on the S23 Ultra.

The text in Ice Universe’s leak is in Korean, but according to another translation provided by SamMobile, it states “improvements are in progress and will be included in the next version” seemingly referring to the patch coming later this month.

2023 has seen a fair amount of camera fixes for the Galaxy S23 like enhancing the stability of video recordings, but there's more work to do. Back in March, people began complaining about photographs taken with the phone as coming out weirdly blurry. It appears Samsung has yet to address the issue as recent Reddit posts show people are still dealing with this problem. It's unknown if the tech giant is working on a fix for that particular issue. Hopefully, it is.

If you're thinking of making a smartphone camera switch, check out TechRadar’s list of the best camera phones for 2023

Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.