Features I want to see in the camera app on Galaxy smartphones

For the longest time, Galaxy smartphones have offered a feature-packed camera app. A slew of different modes, excellent Pro mode controls, and many small but useful functions and settings means the camera app on Galaxy phones — especially flagships — is highly versatile. Every new flagship also brings along neat new features, some of which trickle down to older devices.

The Galaxy S20 series, for example, added the ability to shoot 8K videos and the fantastic and thoughtful Single Take shooting mode. But nothing is perfect, and there’s always room for improvement. And there are a few features and functions that I think Samsung needs to add to its camera app to make it even better.

Pro mode for ultra-wide and zoom cameras

Triple camera setups are more or less the norm nowadays unless you’re buying something in the budget segment. Galaxy flagships made the move to triple cameras last year with the Galaxy S10: You get the main camera, and you also get an ultra-wide camera and a zoom camera. But what you don’t get is the ability to shoot with those cameras in Pro mode.

The Galaxy S20 smartphones come with excellent zoom cameras, but when you switch to Pro mode, you can only use the main camera. It feels particularly limiting on the Galaxy S20 Ultra, which can offer amazing photos at up to 15x zoom with its periscope zoom lens but suffers in low light because of the camera’s narrow (F3.5) aperture.

The ultra-wide camera, on the other hand, is usually of poorer quality compared to the main and zoom cameras no matter which flagship you may pick up. Having the ability to control the shutter speed and other parameters of the zoom and ultra-wide cameras would allow the user to get better results instead of restricting them to the automatic shooting mode.

60 fps video recording for main, ultra-wide, and zoom cameras

This is another feature that would be probably be exclusive to high-end devices and flagship phones, but it would be great if Samsung could add the ability to shoot 60 fps videos with all the rear cameras on its phones. Right now, only the main camera supports 60 fps recording, whether you shoot at Full HD or 4K resolution. The iPhone 11 Pro can shoot 60 fps videos with all its cameras, and there is no reason Galaxy flagships couldn’t do it as well. It all depends on whether or not Samsung wants to offer the option to its customers, and I really think it should.

Setting a default camera mode/making it open in last used mode

Making the camera app always open in the last used camera mode is a feature that was introduced to Galaxy devices with the Android Pie and One UI 1.0 update, but it has since been removed. Samsung was probably looking to simplify things — for example, the One UI 2.0 camera app hides all extra shooting modes in a ‘More’ tab.

But while having the camera reset to Photo mode every time might make simplify the user experience, it’s not great for those who might use other modes — like Video or Pro mode — more often. Not to mention that the option to set the camera to default to the last used mode was hidden in the camera settings, so it wouldn’t have gotten in the way of those who want to keep things simple anyway. I really hope Samsung brings the option back in a future version of One UI.

Set selfie camera to shoot in wide-angle by default

It was with the Galaxy S10 series that Samsung changed the way the selfie camera on its phones works. By default, the front camera will take selfies with a cropped field-of-view (which also extends to some third-party apps), and you have to manually switch to the full field-of-view. It’s quite smart: When you take selfies alone, you want yourself to be front and center, and the cropped view helps you achieve that.

What isn’t smart is making the camera app always default to the cropped view and not giving users the option to set the front camera to use the full field-of-view every time the app is launched. Samsung did add a feature in One UI 2.1 that automatically switches to wide-angle mode when it detects more than one person in the frame, but that’s not enough.

What features and functionality would you like to see in Samsung’s camera app? Let me know down in the comments!

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