Samsung doesn’t let me use any of the S23 Ultra’s best camera modes

There’s a problem with the Adobe Lightroom for Samsung app premium subscription, and it’s not about how much it costs or whether it’s easy to use or not.

If you are located in the UK and possibly other regions, it is not possible to sign up in the app to take advantage of the special two-month trial offer. A check of the Galaxy App Store reviews confirms this isn’t an isolated issue, so what’s up?

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

When I reviewed the Galaxy S23 Ultra, I stumbled upon the payment issue myself for the first time. After taking lots of RAW images I wanted to edit them and see how easy it is for an amateur to use the professional tools in the Lightroom app. Adobe Lightroom for Samsung is the recommended app for editing photos captured with the Samsung ExpertRAW app, and both Samsung and Adobe made a big deal of the partnership at the phone’s launch.

In this situation, there are two apps. Downloaded from the Samsung Galaxy App Store, ExpertRAW allows you to take photos with the S23 Ultra (and some older Galaxy phones) in RAW format. When editing an image in the app, you will be directed to download the Adobe Lightroom for Samsung app, which is installed separately from the same app store. To really bring out the visual beauty of a RAW image, you need some of the deep editing tools in Lightroom, which are only available if you subscribe to the premium tier.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

This costs $5 in the US and £3.79 in the UK. If you bought a Galaxy S23 Ultra, you get an extended two-month free trial, which is more than enough time to really exercise the app and see if it’s for you or not. Except when you go to subscribe in the Lightroom app, it fails at the last second during the checkout process. A message states that the app was unable to complete the purchase, and then accuses the Galaxy Store of being unable to process the purchase.

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When this first happened I attributed it to using a pre-release test sample, but it continued to retail on a Galaxy S23 Ultra purchased at a later date, regardless of payment method or system used. There are a growing number of negative reviews for the Lightroom app on the Galaxy App Store, with many mentioning that they can’t subscribe to Premium either. It doesn’t seem like the issue is related to my devices.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Digital Trends mobile editor Joe Maring tried to replicate the issue in the US, but was able to subscribe to Lightroom Premium as expected and take advantage of the extended two-month trial. Currently, the payment process issue isn’t affecting Samsung owners in the US, but it’s definitely an issue in the UK

We have contacted Samsung and Adobe to comment on the situation and if a resolution is in the works. We’ll update here when we get feedback.

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