Samsung embroiled in controversy over ‘fake’ Space Zoom moon shots


  • A Redditor called out Samsung for misleading advertising and “fake” moon photos snapped with its 100x Spatial Zoom feature.
  • The user claims that the Samsung phones add more textures and details to moon pictures clicked with flagship Galaxy phones.

Over the weekend, a Reddit thread made waves for pushing Samsung into a tough spot. It claims the company is deceiving customers with “fake” moonshots captured using its 100x Space Zoom feature.

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

The latest Reddit thread also claims the same. According to the tests conducted by the Reddit user, it appears that Samsung is using 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 details in the image you initially clicked. It is a trained neural network that has been fed countless moon images to be able to add more 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 where the company is quoted as saying that the 100x zoom feature on the Galaxy S21 Ultra captures multiple frames in a matter of seconds and uses AI to fine-tune the details. Contrary to the latest claims and the old ones SamMobile article, this sounds like the Spatial Zoom feature enhances details already captured by the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s camera.

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

AI will first start by detecting the scene/image at the preview stage by sampling it from an AI model trained on hundreds of thousands of images. Once the camera detects and identifies the image as a certain scene, for example, the Moon, then it offers a detail enhancement function by reducing blurs and noises. The actual photo will usually be higher quality than the camera preview. This is due to the additional AI-based multi-image processing that occurs when the photo is captured.

So while Samsung has been pretty clear about using AI deep learning to deliver high-quality moonshots, Redditors are upset with the company for not being forthcoming about adding textures and details where none exist. Huawei has also previously been accused of not fully disclosing how its Moon Mode really works. User-run testing claimed that the Huawei P30 actually put pre-existing images of the moon into its moon shots.

Samsung has not responded to the latest allegations.

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