Samsung Galaxy S4 camera software hands-on (video)

We take a deeper dive into the Samsung Galaxy S4's new camera features in this hands-on video tour.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon Editor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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  • Shortlisted for British Photography Awards 2022, Commended in Landscape Photographer of the Year 2022
Andrew Lanxon
2 min read
Watch this: Samsung Galaxy S4 Camera Features hands-on

Samsung showed off its swanky new superphone, its Samsung Galaxy S4, at a London launch event, so I took the opportunity to take a deeper look at some of the new camera features. I was only able to get a brief hands-on and wasn't able to perform the usual tests I'd do for a camera, but I had enough time to form a reasonable impression.

In terms of hardware, the sensor has been given a boost, jumping from the 8 megapixels you'll get on the old Galaxy S3, up to 13 megapixels. It's the software that's seen the most additions though. The most unusual is Dual Shot.

It takes a photo with the front and rear cameras simultaneously, superimposing them, apparently to "put you in the context of the photo." At least, that's what Samsung reckons, but frankly I'd rather just get into the picture myself.

Best Face takes multiple shots of a group of your friends, letting you select the best face each of them pulled in the series. It combines all your favorite faces into one image that hopefully shows all of them at their best.

This worked well in my hands-on test. The helpful Samsung representatives pulled a variety of faces and I chose these as my favorites. Even at full-screen, you'd be hard-pressed to tell these were merged from two photos. Have a look at my version of this piece on CNET UK to see the sample shots.

For action scenes, Drama mode is worth checking out. It again takes multiple photos, but it combines them into a single image that tracks the action across the scene. The HTC One employs a similar feature that I found worked well in my tests, so I'm looking forward to taking Samsung's version for a proper spin.

The Galaxy S4's software up close

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You'll also find Sound & Shot, which pairs a still image with 9 seconds of audio, and a Cinemagram-style selective animation tool, as well as the usual panorama, HDR, and scene modes.

The phone goes on sale later this month, so keep your eyes fixed on CNET for more news and, of course, the full review. In the meantime, watch the video above, read my full piece on CNET UK for more info, and be sure to write your thoughts in the comments below.