Our results from new Galaxy S10 update with improved camera Night mode and more!

If you thought Samsung was sitting idle while people complained about the not-so-impressive Night mode on the Galaxy S10 camera, the latest update for the device is here to prove you wrong. The May security update for the Galaxy S10 trio improves the current Night mode and also adds a couple of new camera functionality, which we were able to test ahead of the update’s public release.

Night mode now works with ultra-wide camera, takes cleaner photos

Having the option to use Night mode with the ultra-wide camera is perhaps the most useful addition with the new update. The ultra-wide camera has a narrower aperture (F2.2) than the primary camera (F1.5), so it’s unable to capture as much light by default and has higher noise. Night mode shots with the ultra-wide lens still have plenty of noise, but you get brighter and slightly more detailed shots that were not possible before.

Below are two scenes captured with the ultra-wide camera in automatic mode (swipe right) and in Night mode (swipe left). The second one was taken in a completely dark room with only the small candle as the source of light.


Night mode in general has been improved as well. There’s lower noise in Night mode photos. The phone now keeps the shutter open longer than it did previously, although that also introduces blur in pictures taken in very tough low-light conditions unless you hold the phone really, really steady. In regular low-light scenes, however, the final scene is noticeably cleaner in some situations.

In other situations, the reduction in noise isn’t that noticeable, not unless you’re looking at the pictures on a monitor. As for detail, there’s no visible difference in most cases. The higher noise reduction can actually make things a bit softer now, although it’s a fair trade-off overall.

Here’s a scene captured with both the new Night mode (swipe left) and the old version (swipe right) where you can notice the difference in noise reduction:


And here’s one where the difference is slightly less noticeable:


And finally, here are a couple of scenes captured in automatic mode (swipe right) and the new Night mode (swipe left) on an S10+ running the new software:


Live Focus can be taken with telephoto lens on S10 and S10+

The other big addition is that Live Focus photos can now be taken using either the ultra-wide lens or the telephoto lens on the S10 and S10+, a feature that was present on the Galaxy S10 5G out of the box. We liked that Live Focus mode on the Galaxy S10 trio used the ultra-wide lens for background blur, as that allows you to more easily take bokeh shots of large objects and makes Live Focus possible on the Galaxy S10e. And now, if you own a Galaxy S10 or S10+, you have the choice to get up close to subjects without physically moving when you’re taking bokeh pictures.


It’s great to see Samsung making such major camera improvements to its latest flagship, even if it’s not ultimately surprising: Since last year, Samsung has been bringing new camera features–like Super Slow-mo video recording–from its flagships to older and cheaper devices. The new Galaxy S10 update should make the overall imaging experience better for those who regularly take a lot of pictures in low-light conditions and those who like the artistic results Live Focus can produce.

When can I get this update?

The update, which includes the May 2019 security patch, is rolling out to all three Galaxy S10 models in Switzerland. You should be able to download it over the air from the Settings » Software update menu on your phone. The update’s availability will expand to more markets in the coming days, so if you don’t get it right away, check for the update at a later time. Galaxy S10 owners in the US might have to wait considerably longer for this update, considering carriers in the country are yet to bring even the first version of the dedicated Night mode to their customers.

  • Model: SM-G970F
  • Dimensions: 69.9 x 142.2 x 7.9mm
  • Display: 5.8” (146.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP, CMOS F1.5/F2.4 (77°) & 16MP, CMOS F2.2 (123°)Ultra Wide
  • Model: SM-G973F
  • Dimensions: 70.4 x 149.9 x 7.8mm
  • Display: 6.1"(157.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP.CMOS F2.4 45° Telephoto & 12MP F1.5 77° & 16MP F2.2 123° Ultra-wide
  • Model: SM-G975F
  • Dimensions: 74.1 x 157.6 x 7.8mm
  • Display: 6.4"(162.5mm) Super AMOLED
  • CPU: Exynos 9820 Octa
  • Camera: 12 MP.CMOS F2.4 45° Telephoto & 12MP F1.5/F2.4 77° & 16MP F2.2 123° Ultra-wide

View Comments (36)

  • Excellent article Abhijeet. I'm very impressed by those changes. Just for the record and as any photographer will tell you, when I use my Nikon DSLR in very low light, I use a tripod. No camera can take a blur free, noise free photo in low light without it being kept steady.

    • then what's wrong with pixels & P30 pro? why they take so cool & sharp low light photos from hands?

      • I pointed out what was wrong with them, didn't you read my comment? I'm not saying they're bad. Just saying they cannot produce noise free night photos. Read my comments again. You know, people see what they want to see or are manipulated to see. There is noise on ALL mobile phone night photos.

  • My S9+ recently got the May security patch, and it also says it came with camera improvements and beauty effects, as well as WiFi and Bluetooth improvements. Scene optimiser has a dark mode now too.

  • Great news, looking forward for the release in UK.

    Main question is how does stil compare to the pixel 3?

  • My S10+ became unusably slow when connected to wifi since the update. It doesn't respond to touches, lock screen wallpapers load very slowly and the screen goes off before one can unlock. Anyone else noticed such behavior? I went out of office just before and on 4G everything is fine though. Strange.

      • I restarted several times and disabled all power saving. It looks like it is fixed now. Let's keep the fingers crossed. Was really frustrating because it was almost impossible to get the shutdown menu and then tapping once and wait a minute hoping it does not go to standby.

        • I think I fixed it. If anyone else has this, here's what I did: I went to Settings -> Device care -> Battery -> Battery Usage -> click any App and there Optimize Battery usage -> All and then deselect anything that looks like a system app. For now it is behaving normally since this morning. I think Samsung made the power saving too aggressive for my configuration, thus far I did not see a substantial increase in battery usage.

  • "which we were able to test ahead of the update’s public release."

    How ? Where did you get that firmware ?

  • "and those who like the artistic results Live Focus can produce."

    What do you mean here ? What feature ?

  • "are yet to bring even the first version of the dedicated Night mode to their customers."

    What's the point of bringing old version of night mode if now we have new version.

    • I thought you made a "promise" to us?
      5 messages, while all could be in 1...

      • Yes. But I can't write just 1 comment. It is hard to not write comments under articles. I like to discuss with people here.