Samsung is embroiled in controversy over ‘fake’ Space Zoom moon footage


A Redditor has sued Samsung for misleading ads and “fake” moon photos clicked with its 100x Space Zoom feature. User claims Samsung’s phones add extra texture and detail to moon images clicked with flagship Galaxy phones.

Over the weekend, a Reddit thread ensured Samsung was put in a tight spot. The company is alleged to be misleading customers with “fake” moon shots taken with its 100x space zoom feature.

Samsung introduced Space Zoom with the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Since then, the company has touted it as a great tool for tracking the moon. Samsung has always claimed that it uses AI to improve those 100x digital zoom shots. A 2021 SamMobile report called the feature a gimmick, explaining how Samsung overlays textures taken from much higher-resolution images of the moon onto the shots you take with the Space Zoom feature.

The latest Reddit thread claims the same thing. From tests conducted by the Reddit user, it appears that Samsung uses AI to add textures like craters and other details to moon shots that would otherwise be blurry. There is no additional processing to enhance the detail in the image you originally clicked on. It’s a trained neural network that’s been fed countless moon images to add extra information to the moon shots you take with your Samsung phone.

Another case of false advertising?

The post calls out Samsung for misleading marketing. The Redditor links to an MSPower article citing the company that the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 100x zoom capability captures multiple frames in a matter of seconds and uses AI to fine-tune the details. Contrary to the latest claims and the old SamMobile article, it sounds like the Space Zoom feature will improve detail already captured by the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera.

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However, Samsung explains the following facts about Space Zoom in the MSPower post:

The AI ​​first starts recognizing the scene/image in the preview phase by testing it against an AI model trained on hundreds of thousands of images. Once the camera recognizes and identifies the image as a specific scene, such as the moon, it offers a detail-enhancing feature by reducing blur and noise. The actual photo is usually of higher quality than the camera preview. This is due to the additional AI-based multi-image processing that occurs while the photo is being taken.

While Samsung has been pretty clear about using AI deep learning to deliver high-quality lunar footage, Redditors are annoyed with the company for not being open about adding texture and detail where none exist. Huawei has also previously been accused of not fully disclosing how its moon mode really works. Tests conducted by a user claimed that the Huawei P30 actually inserted pre-existing images of the moon into its moon shots.

Samsung has not responded to the latest allegations.