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Free AI image upscaler makes blurry photos look brand new

Published May 24th, 2024 3:09PM EDT
memories stored in photos
Image: rosstek / Adobe

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Smartphone cameras have come a very long way in the past decade. While all those new AI features make your new images look great, what about all the older, lower-resolution ones? Well, now you can make them look great, too, thanks to a new, free AI image upscaler.

The new app is very aptly named Upscale, and it’s actually really, really easy to use. If you’ve got an old photo (or maybe a hundred) that you want to update and move to a higher resolution, then all you need to do is head to Upscale’s website, sign up for an account, and then choose an image to upload.

Select the image on the website, and then it’ll give you a cleaned-up version of your image at up to twice the original resolution. This is, honestly, a pretty huge development, as upscaling images has always been overly difficult. It’s easy to downscale, but you usually can’t do the opposite without making the image obnoxiously blurry. Thankfully, an AI image upscaler like Upscale mostly seems capable of doing it without ruining the image.

I say mostly because it’s still going to depend a lot on the image and just how small it is. While Fast Company reported some good outcomes with the upscaler, my attempts at using it mostly ended with the older picture of my kitten still looking exceptionally grainy.

I can’t say for sure what the issue was, but I’d say it probably ultimately comes down to just how much you have going on in the photo. My photo, for instance, had the kitten and an entire shelf of books to upscale and plan for. Whereas the image that JR Raphael tested it with was a bit simpler, with a larger focus. Smaller focus and more background noise is likely a hindrance for the AI image upscaler.

Still, what this free AI image upscaler is capable of doing with some images is very impressive, and it’s definitely worth giving it a try since you get access to a few free upscales every day.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.