May 27, 2024

Samsung Issues Surprise Downgrade For Galaxy S23 Ultra

07/29 Update below. This post was originally published on July 27.

Multiple Galaxy S23 Ultra users are reporting that one of the Samsung flagship’s most powerful features has suddenly been removed following a recent system update.

Those affected claim that, since installing the update, the option to record 8K video in high bitrate mode has been grayed out and can no longer be selected, leading to several complaints from users unhappy to find the smartphone’s highest-quality recording mode removed without warning.

Samsung’s official, and rather vague, update release notes make no mention of the feature’s removal. Instead, the company writes, “Since Samsung released a lot of improvements related to the camera and performance last month, don’t expect this update to bring anything new in terms of features or performance.”

Samsung may have had good reason to disable the option, as it’s not the first time this particular feature has been the subject of user frustration. User reports from earlier this year complain of “stuttering” and dropped frames when recording high bitrate 8K video. It should be noted, however, that other users have been able to use the mode without issue.

Disabling the mode altogether would protect users affected by the issue from capturing unusable footage while failing to notice the issue during recording, but it certainly won’t please those waiting patiently for a fix.

It would be fair to question the usefulness of any 8K video recording mode on a smartphone, but fans of the feature claim to achieve better-looking 4K footage on the Galaxy S23 Ultra when downsizing 8K recordings rather than shooting in 4K to start with. Another reason to shoot in 8K is to achieve the highest resolution possible when extracting still photos from your video recordings.

I have reached out to Samsung for comment on the issue and will update you as and when I receive further information.

07/22 Update: More information has come to light regarding the removal of high-bitrate 8k recording from Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra.

As noted in this query on Samsung’s official support forum, high-bitrate 8k video recording was available in Camera version 13.1.01.28, but no longer possible with Camera version 13.1.01.35 which arrived with Samsung’s recent firmware update.

More importantly, once the smartphone has been updated with the July 2023 firmware, it appears not to be possible to downgrade to a previous version to restore the high-bitrate 8k recording function.

This means anyone currently making use of the feature should avoid installing the system update until Samsung comes up with a solution. Of course, this is with the caveat that the phone will be running without the latest security updates.

I’ve also received comments from users stating that 8k video recording is working for them after the July update. It’s important to note that it’s only the 200Mbit/sec high bitrate option that has been disabled, as shown in this video. It’s still possible to record 8k video at the standard 80Mbit/sec bitrate.

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