Samsung brings Galaxy S20 features to the S10 and Note 10 as sales slump

Get your new features months earlier.

galaxy s20 ultra s10
Christopher Hebert/IDG

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If you’ve been itching to try out the Galaxy S20’s best features but don’t want to drop a ton of money on a new phone right now, you’ll soon have your chance. As part of a global update rolling out this month, Galaxy S10 and Note 10 users will gain a variety of software enhancements that were previously exclusive to the S20.

The most interesting is Single Take, a new shooting mode that takes some of the guesswork out of shooting. Instead of waiting for the right moment and tapping the shutter, Single Take captures more than a dozen photos and videos at once and automatically chooses the best shots. All you need to do is record video of a scene for up to 10 seconds and the AI will do all the work. Your mileage will most certainly vary, but when it works, it’s a delightful feature not unlike one you’d find on your Pixel or iPhone.

galaxy s20 ultra dark comp Michael Simon/IDG

In low-light situations, the S20 Ultra (left) performed admirably, retaining detail that the Pixel 4 lost (right) and preserving low lights that the S10 blew away (center).

Samsung is also bringing its improved Night Mode to the S10, which uses multi-frame processing to combine 30 images into a single photo. In my testing of Night Mode on the S20 Ultra, low-light images were both brighter and more detailed while still preserving shadows and lowlights. On the S10, night shots appeared blown out by comparison.

Galaxy S10 and Note10 users will also get Night Hyperlapse mode, which lets you take capture light-trail photos, as well as the ability to create custom filters.

For YouTubers, Samsung is bringing Pro Video to the S10 as well, providing access to the same manual controls that you have for still photos. When shooting video, you’ll now be able to adjust settings for ISO, shutter speed and exposure level, as well as switch between the front and rear cameras on the fly.

As previously promised, Samsung is also bringing its new Quick Share to the S10 and Note 10 so Galaxy users will be able to quickly send files to nearby devices. Similar to Apple’s AirDrop, your phone will show you friends that are within range and let you share photos, videos, and large files without texting or emailing. And with Music Share, friends will be able to play songs to a Bluetooth speaker without needing to pair their phones.

The update arrives as smartphone sales around the world crater. According to Strategy Analytics, worldwide smartphone sales saw the biggest year-over-year drop in history in February, tumbled nearly 40 percent. And the outlook for the coming months is dire, with many consumers “unable or unwilling to shop for new devices.”

That is likely part of the reason why Samsung is pushing out its update earlier than ever this year. While new features usually start to trickle down to older devices in summer, Samsung is pushing the S10 as an affordable alternative to the high-priced S20 this year, with $150 price cuts across the board and generous trade-in deals.

While the update is rolling out around the world this month, it will take a little longer for it to reach the U.S. Samsung  The update will be released in select markets in the coming weeks, including the United States, delivering the latest Galaxy S20 experiences to Galaxy S10 and Note10 devices.”

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