We’ve reviewed the Galaxy S10 2.5 months ago now. Amongst one of the discoveries of besides the differences between the Snapdragon and Exynos models was the fact that Samsung’s low-light capability really didn’t compete with Google’s Night Sight processing capabilities or with Huawei’s combined hardware and processing advantage.

A few days ago Samsung started pushing the newest May firmware update to devices and in this new update we’re seeing the introduction of a brand-new night mode that has new processing abilities, and an overall large change in camera processing quality.

In the Galaxy S10’s release firmware, the low-light computational photography mode was a feature that was automatically triggered through the camera application’s “scene optimiser” mode. In an April software update this same mode was eventually moved to a dedicated Night mode switch in the UI. The new May update completely changes the algorithm behind this mode and also adds the possibility to shoot it with the wide-angle camera. Other additions to the new camera include taking panorama pictures with the main camera sensor instead of just the wide-angle lens, majorly improving panorama picture quality.

The main interesting topic of this short news post is the new Night Mode. I’ve updated the firmware on my Exynos S10+ to test the new feature. Unfortunately whilst Samsung has already started updating the Snapdragon S10+ as well, until now this has only happened to Hong Kong variants of the phone and US users including my unit I have here hasn’t yet received the update.

Update: Read our most recent full camera comparison in our OnePlus 7 Pro review

Whilst not directly a before-and-after comparison, the comparison between the Snapdragon S10 on the April firmware versus the Exynos S10 on the May firmware are still striking when it comes to the Night Mode shots:

Click for full image
[ S10+ (E) May Update  ] - [ S10+ (S) April Update  ]
[ P30 Pro ] - [ Pixel 3 ] - [ iPhone XS ]

Click for full image
[ S10+ (E) May Update  ] - [ S10+ (S) April Update  ]
[ P30 Pro ] - [ Pixel 3 ] - [ iPhone XS ]

Click for full image
[ S10+ (E) May Update  ] - [ S10+ (S) April Update  ]
[ P30 Pro ] - [ Pixel 3 ] - [ iPhone XS ]

The new algorithm is a lot brighter, but most importantly is able to resolve a lot more detail. In fact I’d argue that Samsung is now on par with Google’s Night Sight mode, achieving better details and able to handle highlights better. Google’s results are still brighter and more saturated, but arguably that also not very representative of the actual scenes and it goes a bit too far. Samsung and Google however both continue to lag behind the raw hardware power of Huawei’s P30’s devices.

Besides the improved low-light capability, I also noticed that HDR processing and exposure in general has been significantly improved with the new update on the Exynos S10. In fact in my test shots, things have now notably improved with only some differences remaining to the Snapdragon’s results. Sharpness is one area the Exynos still lags behind the Snapdragon, but it seems the differences have been much reduced compared to what we saw in our initial release.

We’ll have a full blown-camera comparison again with our review of the OnePlus 7 Pro coming soon.

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  • shabby - Friday, June 07, 2019 - link

    Don't see this option on my cdn s10, think you should say which phone + firmware you have. The Exynos seems to get things first and the snapdragon is a month behind. Reply
  • shabby - Friday, June 07, 2019 - link

    Oops you did mention this in the 4th paragraph 😅 Reply
  • rocky12345 - Friday, June 07, 2019 - link

    I have to admit when I read the title I was like oh yay improved night mode yippy. Then once I read the post I was oh ok improvements to the camera modes and was like OH YAY that's great news for those owning these phones...lol Reply
  • dudedud - Friday, June 07, 2019 - link

    Any chance this NM could roll out to other Samsung devices? Reply
  • hanselltc - Saturday, June 08, 2019 - link

    Hopefully the S9+ also gets this. Reply
  • ghdsports - Monday, June 10, 2019 - link

    wow... Rally i loved it ... one of the best phone in samsung .. thank you - https://www.ghdsports.net/ Reply
  • ankiy_14 - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    samsung s10 is amazing mobile phone, i have to admit it. compare it with others. https://www.mymobilereviewer.com/product/samsung-g... Reply
  • kunukumarkd - Monday, September 09, 2019 - link

    Hey recently I just wrote an article about Samsung galaxy m10 and m20 here you can checkout. And by the way, this is an amazing article AnandTech. Thanks. https://kunukd.com/samsung-new-m-series-lineup-lau... Reply
  • Speedfriend - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Those iPhone photos are a joke. What happened to the iPhone's lead in photography. I suppose we will soon be treated to Apple inventing Night iSight.... Reply
  • Lau_Tech - Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - link

    Hi Andrei, thank you for this update. I felt confident from the start that Samsung wld take steps to try and bridge the camera gap between snapdragon and exynos versions,especially given the general discontent amongst the enthusiast community evidenced in many forums. We have you to thank as one of the main revealed of these inequalities, which I'm sure has helped spur Samsung to action. Reply

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