Samsung Galaxy S21's best camera feature is coming to more Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S21
(Image credit: TechRadar)

One of the best perks of buying a Samsung phone is that new camera features for each model often get rolled out to older devices, and now one of the Galaxy S21's camera modes is coming to some 2020 smartphones.

As spotted by SamMobile, Samsung's May 2021 security patch (rolling out - you guessed it - through May) brings the Galaxy S21's Director's View mode to a few of the brand's 2020 smartphones.

Director's View lets you record video from multiple cameras at once, including the front one - so you can record yourself while you video someone else, or capture a standard and ultra-wide view at the same time.

The eligible phones for the update are the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, as well as the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra. There's no word on the update for A-series handsets, the Z line of foldable phones or the Galaxy S20 FE.

On those phones, the new feature is called Dual Recording, not Director's View, but it does the same thing. If you've got a Samsung phone, you can download the update in the Settings app via Software Update - the May 2021 security patch update is rolling out through May (hence the name) so keep checking back through the month if you can't get it straight away.

The best camera phones getting better

Samsung's habit of bringing camera features from its newer phones to its older ones, ensures flagships from the brand stay great for years.

We saw this with the useful Single Take mode from the Galaxy S20 series, which recorded from all the cameras when you wanted to take a picture, then picked out the best snaps using options from all the lenses.

After the Galaxy S20 launch, this feature eventually made its way to the Galaxy S10, joining the slew of camera tools on that phone and making the 2019 device useful for much longer. Because of this habit, if another Galaxy phone launches when you already own one, you won't get buyers' remorse at any missed features.

And it's pretty likely the Galaxy S21 will get whatever new features and tricks the Galaxy S22 launches with next year.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.