Galaxy S23 Series June 2023 Update Released, But Not in the US Yet
The Galaxy S23 series comes with a very consistent and reliable overall camera experience. However, it wasn’t performing as well as the hardware was capable of. Photos were noisy, shadow regions were grainy, and 2X zoom didn’t have very good image processing.
Night Mode and autofocus were two other problems that the S23 series had. This left a lot to be desired with upcoming software updates. Many people are eagerly anticipating the June patch. There were many rumors that the update would bring massive camera and smoothness improvements.
One would assume that the June patch would arrive in the earlier weeks, but there were some delays. After two weeks of waiting, Samsung is now finally rolling out the June 2023 security update. Thankfully, the update has several improvements according to tests. The camera performance is much more reliable now. This update probably addresses dark shadows and dynamic range problems too.
The S23 and S23 Plus specifically (not the Ultra) had problems with “banana” focus, where close-up subjects often appeared out of focus and blurry. This much-awaited June update does mention that it solves autofocus problems, but we’re not sure if the focusing issues on the S23 and S23+ are fixed.
The update changelog was not too specific. It just mentions vague stability improvements and some feature and performance enhancements. This is a typical standard changelog for every security patch. Samsung didn’t officially specify anything about the camera system.
However, user testing reveals a different story. Several tests from users have shown that the camera takes better photos, and noise reduction is much better now. The most improvements were to the 2X zoom. Photos taken on the S23 Ultra at 2X are now much better, with organic sharpness and details.
Samsung has a large 1/1.3″ sensor for the primary camera. A 2X sensor crop is near lossless in image quality. It’s clearly not as good as real 2X optical zoom since cropping into the sensor always has detail loss. However, it’s much better and much more usable than before. The zoom can now hold its own against the iPhone 14 Pro and Find X6 Pro’s sensor crop mechanisms.
In fact, the improvement to 2X zoom is so drastic that Samsung now confidently offers you an option to take portrait mode photos at 2X. Earlier, you could do this only at 1X and 3X zoom. 2X zoom portraits are unique since the 50mm range is ideal for capturing the correct size of the face. While 3X also serves the purpose, having another focal length option for portrait mode photos is good, taking advantage of the large sensor.
Users also report much smoother lens switching. Moving between the main, ultra-wide, 3X, and 10X is allegedly much better now. Below is a compiled and confirmed list of everything users noticed with this update:
- 2X zoom option for portrait mode photos.
- Better high dynamic range performance.
- Autofocus improvements.
- Different night mode processing that is a bit less noisy.
- General noise handling improvements.
- Smoother One UI transitions and smoother lens switching, a slight improvement to haptic feedback.
The June update has the firmware number S91xBXXU2AWF1, and it’s around 2.2 gigabytes in size. There’s bad news if you’re in the US since the update isn’t available in that country yet. The update is available in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and some parts of Europe. We’ll let you know when this update arrives in other Asian countries and the United States.