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What you need to know about Motion Photo on the Galaxy S7

Samsung came up with a way to bring your photos to life on its latest smartphones.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read
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Samsung unveiled a new camera feature called Motion Photos alongside the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge last month at MWC.

Motion Photo is similar to Live Photos, which Apple introduced in the iPhone 6S line, but it's not identical. Samsung's version only captures video before the shutter button is pressed, not before and after the photo is captured as Apple's Live Photos do. Additionally, there doesn't appear to be an easy way to take a Motion Photo and share it with another user. Nonetheless, here's what you need to know:

Motion Photo isn't enabled by default on Samsung's devices. To turn it on, open the Camera app and tap the Settings icon. The second option on the list will be for Motion photo, slide the switch to the On position.

With Motion Photos now enabled, any time you capture a photo your phone will record a couple seconds of video leading up to the shutter button being pressed.

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Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

When viewing photos in Samsung's Gallery app, you can identify Motion photos thanks to a play icon in the top-right corner of the screen. Touching the icon will bring the photo to life.

Unfortunately, sharing the photo will strip out the video portion and send only the final picture. I've tested sending through email, Dropbox, as SMS and a Hangouts attachment with no luck. For now, it appears, you'll need to physically show your Motion photo to a friend or family member.

Keep in mind, Motion Photos will take up more storage space on your device than a standard photo. If you're OK with the current lack of sharing capabilities, then leave the feature enabled. Otherwise, leave it turned off until Samsung lets you easily share a Motion Photo.