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Samsung says the Galaxy S20 Ultra autofocus issue is not a bug that can be fixed with an update

The Galaxy S20 Ultra. (Source: Samsung)
The Galaxy S20 Ultra. (Source: Samsung)
Some owners of the most expensive Galaxy S20 variant have reportedly complained to its maker, Samsung, that its rear cameras cannot focus over very short distances. The same users have called for a firmware upgrade that might fix this. However, this problem may be due to the physical constraints of the phone's image sensor.

Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 Ultra with a price-tag to match its name. The OEM cited the quality and power of its rear camera set-up, equipped as it is with a 108MP main sensor, as much of the rationale behind commanding this cost. However, some of its users have reported serious issues while using this lens, which are mostly related to an alleged inability to focus over short distances.

This manifests itself in an issue in which the S20 Ultra's auto-focus fails when the phone is within 10 centimeters (cm) or less of its subject, causing it or its background to become blurry, rendering any images taken useless. This problem may prevent everyday phone-camera tasks such as document capture, quick snaps for future reference and (obviously) close-up shots.

Samsung has had to adopt a fairly regular pattern of firmware updates to fix Galaxy S20 camera problems since the series' release. However, this Ultra discrepancy may not be one that can be resolved this way. South Korean users with this variant complaining about the short-distance focus-fuzz on the OEM's official community forum have reportedly encountered a response from a moderator explaining that the fix they want is not likely to be on the cards.

This representative outlined that, thanks to the high pixel density in the S20 Ultra's sensor, its focal length has a minimum of 10cm. Therefore, its auto-focus only works well with subjects outside this range as a natural consequence of these specs. In other words, users with this phone may simply be stuck with the issue in question in the long term.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Samsung says the Galaxy S20 Ultra autofocus issue is not a bug that can be fixed with an update
Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-04-22 (Update: 2020-04-22)