Samsung Galaxy S23 defaults to Adobe Lightroom - whether you want it or not

Man taking photo of city at a distance on his phone
(Image credit: Unsplash / Laurence Cruz)

Owners of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 series will get exclusive use of Adobe Lightroom for RAW photo editing - whether they like it or not. 

In a partnership revealed during Samsung Unpacked, Samsung’s DSLR-style Expert RAW camera app will feature Lightroom integration. Mobile photographers can shoot and export to Adobe’s photo organizer in a matter of taps. 

But there’s a small catch. Users won’t be forced to adopt Lightroom, though they will be prompted. Once installed on the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra, however, the app will become “the default and only photo editor,” said Scott Belsky, chief product officer and executive vice president, Creative Cloud at Adobe.  

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 Samsung-Adobe team-up: What’s new and why?

By syncing Samsung’s camera app to Lightroom, the companies hope to remove the challenge of transferring RAW images from devices to a photo editing app that can handle the uncompressed files. 

The preferred image file for professionals, RAW files let photographers capture high-resolution photos soaked in real-world color and detail. However, bulky file sizes, and lack of support for RAW editing in all but the best Adobe Lightroom alternatives, means managing and organizing images can be an inaccessible grind for most mobile photographers. 

There are obvious benefits to the Galaxy S23’s Lightroom integration, not least extra cloud storage support and what Adobe clunkily dubs “AI-powered professional, Photoshop-class editing tools.” The Adobe Lightroom mobile app is free - so it won’t cost users more, although a Creative Cloud subscription unlocks advanced features across desktop, mobile, and online. A two-month free Lightroom trial comes bundled with the Samsung G23 series to sweeten the ‘default’ deal. 

“Samsung is proud to offer a suite of tools on the Galaxy S23 series that differentiate Galaxy users’ photography experiences, featuring Lightroom as the default Expert RAW editing tool for our Galaxy smartphones,” said Joshua Sungdae Cho, executive vice president and head of visual SW R&D, Mobile Experience Business at Samsung. 

“The combination of Expert RAW with Lightroom’s powerful yet accessible editing tools, presets and tutorials give anyone the ability to make professional-level enhancements to their images,” said Belsky. 

Samsung also confirmed the automatic transfer of Expert RAW images from Galaxy S23 devices to the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Ultra and Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro series. 

Steve Clark
B2B Editor - Creative & Hardware

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.