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List of issues with the Samsung Galaxy S7 camera

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Although being equipped with the supreme mobile phone rear camera at the time of release in early 2016, the Galaxy S7's camera (and several other mobile phones) suffer from several software-related behavioural issues and bugs.


Pop-up blocks camera viewfinder[edit]

If the camera is used using quick-launch (double home-button press) while both the front-facing light sensor detects 0 Lux and the rear-facing proximity sensor detects an object (~4 cm or closer), a redundant pop-up message with the text “Camera has been opened via quick launch” appears and blocks the viewfinder until the tiny “OK” button is pressed.

If not responded to, the camera application will automatically close after 5 seconds.

The pop-up can not be closed by tapping on the dimmed background, but can be closed by tapping the Back navigation key. However, even if closed with the Back navigation key, the camera application will still be closed 5 seconds after being launched (not after closing the pop-up).

This apparently deliberately programmed software bug makes it impossible to launch the camera while the mobile phone is still in the trouser's pocket and forces the user to start the camera using the on-lockscreen camera launch icon.

This bug is inherited by the 2015 flagships (Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus and Note 5) with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update, which means that the original Android 5.0 Lollipop version running on those devices were free from this bug.

Camera exit bug[edit]

When quick-launching the camera shortly after entering stand-by mode (double home button press), it first appears to start normally, but after around three seconds, the camera software closes itself, which is a fatal behaviour in case of fleeting moments.

This bug can be prevented by exiting the camera using the Back navigation key or the home button instead of the power button.

This bug has been inherited by the 2015 flagships (S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge Plus and Note 5) with the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update.

Screen rotation priority[edit]

The Android system screen rotation takes priority over the camera application capturing photos or starting video recording, and might even cause frame skipping during video recording (although rotation during video recording is highly discouraged anyway[1]).

The shutter lag caused by this bug is significantly longer with power saving mode enabled (around one second).

On the Galaxy S5 and Note 4, the Android system rotation was locked only during video recording. On earlier flagships, the system screen rotation was locked entirely during camera operation in a horizontal state (with home button on the right side).

Screen time-out priority[edit]

When trying to quick-launch the camera (double home button press) less than a second before the screen-time out, the mobile phone will fall into stand-by mode instead of launching the camera.

When trying to launch the camera imminently after the phone enters stand-by mode, the camera exit bug will occur.

The camera application might still be running (visible on screen) if the mobile phone is exited from stand-by mode using the power button or home button without using quick-launch shortly after this bug occured and shortly after entering the stand-by mode ordinarily.

Slow motion frame skipping[edit]

During the 720p@240fps slow motion video recording, frames might be occasionally skipped.[2]

Frame skipping appears to deteriorate with device heat, which results in more skipped frames at higher video recording durations.

Restricted flashlight controls[edit]

On the Galaxy S6 with Android 5.0, a torch shurtcut was added to the drop-down quick setting menu, where it is quickly accessible.

The torch control originally could also be toggled during camera operation, which allowed illuminating burst shots and toggling the torch during video recording (a camera feature Sony and HTC had integrated into their camera user interfaces for years).

But with the Galaxy S7 and the Galaxy S6 after the Android 6.0 Marshmallow update, the torch control is locked during camera operation, and only the restricted torch controls of the camera software itself are useable.

Third-party camera software such as Open Camera offers superior torch controls. However, third-party camera software is not optimized for a particular device, which means that it might not be able to use a particular mobile phone's camera functionality properly and work as fast as the precluded, per-device optimized software. However, this problem has been alleviated since the Camera V2 API introduced on Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Further observations[edit]

  • The ability to run the camera software in multi-window mode was introduced on the Galaxy Note 4, and then removed on all flagships until the Galaxy S8.
  • The Galaxy Note 4 multi-window camera mode made third-party software such as Snapy obsolete, however was restricted with the Android 5.0 and 6.0 updates by first disabling the ability to enter pop-up window mode during video recording on Android 5.0, then disabling camera multi-window entirely with Android 6.0.
  • On the Galaxy S7, the 2160p (4K) video duration was originally not limited by a fixed time. However, a ten-minute limitation was added with the Android 7.0 Nougat update. The Galaxy Note 7 already had a fixed ten-minute limitation with Android 6.0 Marshmallow that already had the later version of TouchWiz delivered to the S7 with Android Nougat.
  • Autofocus is locked while using pinch zoom (two fingers touching viewfinder), while not locked while using the vertical zoom slider bar (which has replaced the zoom square since Galaxy Note 5/S6 Edge Plus (Android 5 Lollipop) and Galaxy S6/S6 Edge (Android 6 Nougat), although the volume key zoom, if enabled, showed the slider bar much earlier.)

See also[edit]

Related navigation boxes: ElectronicsMobile phonesData storageUser experience and user interfaces


  1. Video of what happens when rotating the mobile phone after launching video recording
  2. Your Galaxy S7's slow-motion video stutters? You are not alone!, Luis D., Apr 05, 2016, 6:50 AM, Phone Arena

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