Social media users accuse Galaxy S23 Ultra of faking moon shot

Is Samsung Faking Moon Shots with the Galaxy S23 Ultra?

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts 100x Space Zoom, which combines optical zoom and computational processing to allow device owners to snap gorgeous pictures of the moon. However, a test conducted by a Reddit subscriber “ibreakphotos” suggests that the images of the moon delivered by the Galaxy S23 Ultra are faked.

Many have witnessed the breathtaking moon photos taken with the latest zoom lenses, starting with the S20 Ultra. Nevertheless, doubts about their authenticity have always existed, as they appear almost too perfect. While these images are not necessarily outright fabrications, neither are they entirely genuine.

How Samsung Uses AI and ML to Produce Great Shots of the Moon

The Reddit subscriber downloaded a hi-res image of the moon, reduced its resolution, and added a Gaussian blur to remove the details of the moon. On one end of his room, he put that image on his computer monitor and then went to the other end of the room, turned off the light, and zoomed in on the monitor using his Galaxy S23 Ultra. The result? The image became a detailed photo of the moon looking nothing like the white blob on the computer screen. While Samsung truthfully says that “no image overlaying or texture effects are applied, it does use Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to improve photographs of the moon.

The Reddit subscriber who ran the above test added, “I hope you can appreciate that Samsung is leveraging an AI model to put craters and other details on places which were just a blurry mess.” While some are excusing Samsung by saying that this is not an example of deceptive marketing, others say that the manufacturer isn’t clearly explaining how these images are produced.

One Manufacturer Allegedly Used Pre-Existing Images of the Moon to Trick Consumers

As long as overlays aren’t used, what is the difference between using AI and Machine Learning tools to produce great-looking images of the moon? After all, Google uses computational photography on its Pixel handsets and those cameras are widely lauded. The key part of the sentence is “as long as overlays aren’t used.” After all, it’s not like a different photo of the moon is replacing the one that you photographed with your Galaxy S23 Ultra. That is where the line should be drawn.

There have been accusations about a phone manufacturer using overlays of the moon to trick consumers. Back in 2019, the Huawei P30 Pro’s Moon Mode was promoted by the manufacturer as being capable of snapping beautiful close-up photos of the moon without a tripod. But one researcher by the name of Wang Yue said that Huawei was using more than just AI and attempted to show that previously photographed images of the moon were being inserted into pictures taken by the P30 Pro.


While Samsung uses AI and ML to improve photographs of the moon, it is not entirely clear how these images are produced. As long as overlays aren’t used, there is no harm in using AI and Machine Learning tools to produce great-looking images of the moon. However, manufacturers should be transparent about how these images are produced to avoid any confusion or accusations of deceptive marketing.

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