Samsung's Galaxy flagships already rank among the world's best camera phones, but the company's new AI-powered photo editing app is promising to be a handy safety net for the shots that don't quite go to plan.
The Samsung Galaxy Enhance-X app, which originally launched just under a year ago but was then removed from the Galaxy Store following the arrival of Android 13, has now come out of beta again for some select phones. These include the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Z Fold 4, and you can see the full list of supported phones further down.
So what does the app actually do that you can't find elsewhere? While some of the features like HDR and noise reduction are already available in the best photo editing apps like Snapseed, the most useful features of the Galaxy Enhance-X app are its AI-powered fixes for common photo issues.
For those in a rush, there's a one-tap fix mode called Magic that promises to sort the basics (reducing noise and blur, adding texture). We'll need to play with that first to see how heavy-handed it is. But arguably more interesting are the specific local adjustments that include 'remove shadows', 'fix blur', and even 'remove reflection'.
A few years ago, these kinds of edits would have taken an experienced Photoshop wizard a significant amount of time to pull off naturally. But being able to remove shadows – which the app effectively does by combining automatic detection, masking, and generative fill – is now a quick on-device process that could take some photos from 'cull' to 'keep'.
The other benefit of these AI powers is that the Galaxy Enhance-X app, like Google PhotoScan, can also boost your old film photos. The built-in Old Photo tool promises to "restore and bring extra clarity to old or damaged photos". We're looking forward to seeing how this compares to rival scanning tools like Google's.
Unfortunately, the Galaxy Enhance-X app isn't available on all of Samsung's phones. But it will work on all phones from the Galaxy S23, S22, S21, S20, and Note 20 series, plus the Z Fold 4, Z Flip 4, Z Fold 3, Z Flip 3, Z Fold 2, Z Flip 5G, and Z Flip LTE devices that run on One UI 5.1 or above.
And if you have an older device, you should also be able to use the app one day. Samsung says that support for the Galaxy A series, Galaxy M series, and Galaxy tablets will be available "at a later date".
AI vs authenticity
The best AI art generators may have grabbed the headlines recently, but AI-powered photo editors like the Galaxy Enhance-X app are just as useful – particularly on smartphones.
Our phones are memory catchers and refining, rather than generating, those memories is becoming much easier thanks to apps like Samsung's new one, and equivalent desktop ones like Luminar Neo.
Samsung's app is arguably a response to Google's big pushes in this space, in particular Magic Eraser – which is now available on your iPhone or Galaxy phone as part of a Google One subscription.
Whether all of this photo-perfecting technology is actually a good thing for our photos is up for debate, with TechRadar's Cameras editor Tim Coleman recently arguing that authenticity is actually more important than that AI-powered sheen of perfection.
Wherever you stand in the debate, it's nice to live in a photographic age where you have the choice.
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Mark is TechRadar's Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he's contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph's Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London's Square Mile.