Samsung and its Moon Mode have been involved in a controversy this weekend that accuses the Korean manufacturer of misleading advertising practices.
We start Samsung week with a controversy that has been brewing over the weekend. These two days a thread on reddit has been doing that spatial zoomthe camera feature of the koreans that was introduced with the Samsung Galaxy S20 ultra that allowed you to take photos with up to 100x optical zoom, is being flagged as misleading advertising.
The manufacturer has been carrying two generations of its high-end terminals advertising it as the best way to take pictures of the moon. Koreans have always said that Space Zoom uses artificial intelligence to enhance photos taken at 100x magnification, with the Reddit opener maintaining that they use textures obtained from very high-resolution images of the moon that are then overlap with the one taken by the user.
A neural network or a case of false advertising?
Just read the Reddit thread and the method that the Redditor u/ibreakphotos has followed (accompanied by a good assortment of test images) to see that Your assertions seem to be well founded.. However, Space Zoom uses a neural network trained on thousands of images of the moon to then add additional information to the photos taken with the phone in what it is known as Moon Mode.
The thread directly challenges Samsung for misleading advertising. There was a link to an article about the Samsung Galaxy S21 featured on mspower and, in said article, the company was directly quoted as saying that Space Zoom captures hundreds of frames in a matter of seconds, and then uses AI to refine the details. All this seems to contradict ibreakphotos’ claimssince the article points out that Space Zoom improves details already captured with the Galaxy S21 Ultra camera.
This is the Samsung’s explanation about it in the MSPower article:
First of all, the AI will start by detecting the image or scene in a previous phase, comparing it with an AI model trained with hundreds of thousands of images. Once the camera detects and identifies the image as a particular scene, for example the moon, it then offers a detail enhancement feature by reducing blur and noise. The photo will typically be of a higher quality than the camera preview. This is due to artificial intelligence multi-image processing that takes place when the photo is captured.
Far from wanting to side with any of the parties involved, the only thing we can assure is that of all this two conclusions can be drawn:
- Samsung has always been clear on the use of artificial intelligence for Moon Mode photos.
- Reddit users are upset that the maker hasn’t openly talked about adding textures and detail to images captured this way.
In the past, Huawei has been accused of doing the same with photos of the moon taken with their P30 and not fully clarify how his particular Moon Mode worked. For now Samsung has not commented on it.