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Galaxy S10 update delivers improvements to Night mode, but it still can’t touch Google’s Night Sight

Published May 23rd, 2019 2:09PM EDT
Galaxy S10
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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The Night Sight shooting mode Google introduced this past November has been nothing short of a game-changer. Relying on advanced software techniques, Night Sight mode allows Pixel users to take incredibly detailed photographs in low-light environments. The feature has rightfully been categorized as “magic” and has prompted a number of competing handset manufacturers to step up their game.

While it remains to be seen if Apple’s next-gen iPhone lineup incorporates improved low-light photography, Samsung didn’t waste any time jumping into the mix. With the launch of the Galaxy S10, Samsung included a “Bright Night” feature that was far from a legitimate rival to Google’s Night Sight mode. Still, Samsung kept at it and last month released a Night Mode option to the S10 via a software update.

While the new Night Mode was a distinct improvement, it wasn’t without its own fair share of shortcomings. The good news, though, is that the most recent update from Samsung brings even more improvements to the table.

Sammobile already had a chance to play around with the new update and their findings are quite encouraging.

Having the option to use Night mode with the ultra-wide camera is perhaps the most useful addition with the new update. The ultra-wide camera has a narrower aperture (F2.2) than the primary camera (F1.5), so it’s unable to capture as much light by default and has higher noise. Night mode shots with the ultra-wide lens still have plenty of noise, but you get brighter and slightly more detailed shots that were not possible before.

Night mode in general has been improved as well. There’s lower noise in Night mode photos. The phone now keeps the shutter open longer than it did previously, although that also introduces blur in pictures taken in very tough low-light conditions unless you hold the phone really, really steady. In regular low-light scenes, however, the final scene is noticeably cleaner in some situations.


also posted a number of comparison shots that illustrate some of the subtle improvements afforded by the latest software update. The differences aren’t necessarily mind-blowing, but the latest software update definitely serves up much crisper shots than the previous iteration.

The bad news is that the latest update is currently available in Switzerland exclusively, but should be rolling out to other geographic locations over the next few weeks. The site, though, notes that users in the U.S. might have to wait a bit longer for the update given how slow carriers have been to push out existing updates.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.