A glitch, or possibly a hardware problem, is adding a strange blur to some Galaxy S23 and S23+ owners’ photos. The source of this issue is unknown, though it seems to affect a limited number of Galaxy S23 and S23+ smartphones. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra is unaffected.
As reported by NotebookCheck, several Galaxy S23 users on the German Android help forum complained about a blurry “ring” or “arch” shape when shooting photos. Essentially, the center and corners of an image look sharp, but a portion around the center looks unusually blurry or soft. (This also occurs when shooting RAW images, which could suggest a hardware problem.)
We managed to replicate this problem using our Galaxy S23 (which was sent to us courtesy of AT&T). Of course, it’s a very subtle blur. And to my relief, it’s very hard to notice without zooming in on a photo. I don’t believe that this will have a real impact on everyday photography.
To be clear, I know that these tests are a bit un-scientific. I pointed the Galaxy S23 at a passage from a book and shot about two dozen images. But the ring-shaped blur pattern appeared in all images, corroborating the photos shared by other users.
Interestingly, this blurry camera problem may have been inherited from Samsung Galaxy S22-series phones (which use the same cameras as the S23 and S23+). I managed to find a few complaints about blurry Galaxy S22 cameras on the Samsung support forum. Affected Galaxy S22 customers describe a blurry “ring” similar to what we see in the Galaxy S23. (Though this may be a coincidence.)
Note that some Galaxy S23 and S23+ devices aren’t affected by this problem. And, as I mentioned earlier, it’s very difficult to notice this camera blur. (Honestly, I worry that some examples of this problem may be bad photography, as opposed to a camera problem. The most extreme examples just look like motion blur.)
Samsung hasn’t commented on this camera problem. If you own a Galaxy S23 or S23+, I suggest that you sit tight and wait for an official word. My hope is that it’s just a minor software bug.