Samsung finally bringing ‘Night’ photo mode to US Galaxy S10 phones

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
Image credit: TechRadar
(Image credit: Future)

Samsung’s dedicated and much-refined Night photo mode is finally coming to the US, and it’s starting with the AT&T Galaxy S10 Plus phones, according to XDA Developers

The proper Night mode improves on the lackluster original version after various updates, which have been available in the S10 line...but only for models packing the Exynos 9820 chipset. Now S10 phones with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 – in other words, those sold in the US – will get it, too.

AT&T owners of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus have gotten the update first, and will presumably follow on the standard Galaxy S10 and smaller Galaxy S10e. This update also reportedly includes a dedicated QR code scanner (so you won’t have to fire up Samsung’s Bixby Vision app or Google Lens), as well as AT&T’s June security patch.

It’s unclear when the Night photo mode will roll out to S10 phones on other carriers, to unlocked devices after that, or if it will ever arrive on older Samsung handsets (like the still-capable Galaxy S9 or Galaxy Note 9).

Better late than never

When the Galaxy S10 line launched back in March, it only had the ‘Bright Night’ scene optimizer. Like the 29 other optimizers, this kicked in when the camera detected the proper conditions (night and low-light). 

Its performance paled in comparison to the dedicated Night Mode in the Google Pixel 3 of phones, which set the bar for nighttime and low-light smartphone photography. The latter’s software has outpaced other phonemakers’ by a notable margin, to the point where handsets boasting far more complex rear camera setups – like the triple lenses on the S10 and S10 Plus – still couldn’t unseat the Pixel phones from their night-photo throne.

Hopefully, this update brings the S10 line closer to parity. We haven’t extensively tested the new Night mode, but we look forward to how it will change our best camera phone rankings.