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Samsung’s new free Galaxy app instantly improves your photos — and I just tried it

Samsung Galaxy Enhance-X running on a Galaxy S22 Ultra, held in front of a wood chip background
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Samsung's just given anyone with a Galaxy S22 or other Galaxy phone a new free editing app for their phones in the form of the new Galaxy Enhance-X app.

Available from the Galaxy App Store, Galaxy Enhance-X (opens in new tab) is a lightweight editor that lets you change things like the HDR level, brightness and sharpness through simple-to-understand intensity sliders. You don't have to take the photo with your Galaxy either, since the app just pulls images from your Gallery app.

A screenshot of Samsung Galaxy Enhance-X with an image loaded

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There's also an automatic feature if you don't want to mess around with the sliders yourself. It takes a few seconds but like with the other options, you get a handy slider so you can see what changes have been made between the unedited and edited image.

Two screenshots of the Samsung Galaxy Enhance-X app making automated edits to an image

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you like what Enhance-X's AI has done, or you're happy with your own changes, you can then save the image as a separate JPEG file, leaving your original intact. This is handy if you want to have another go at editing the image from scratch again later.

The other benefit of exporting an image through Enhance-X is that you can increase the resolution by two or three times, while in theory maintaining the fine details using the app's AI upscaler. For example, you can turn a typical 12MP (4000 x 3000) image from a Galaxy S22 into a 24MP (8000 x 6000) one just by tapping a couple of buttons.

Testing Galaxy Enhance-X

I tried out Enhance-X using a Galaxy S22 Ultra to see how it treated two different images. The first shot was a plaque at the top of a hill in the Lake District that I climbed recently. The second photo was a selfie that I captured on an iPhone 13 Pro Max and imported to the Galaxy phone. 

In terms of edits, I am hard-pressed to tell the difference between my original hill shot and the "enhanced" version. The only difference I can spot is that Galaxy Enhance-X has smoothed out details within the rocks and plaque. I prefer the sharper version of this image but as mentioned above, I can go back into the app and make my own edits if I wish.

The impact of Galaxy Enhance-X is much more noticeable on the iPhone selfie though, as the app has cooled down the colors and reduced the bokeh of the background as well as smoothing the shot. I don't like that Enhance-X has downplayed the blur since this was specifically a portrait mode shot, but I do like the more natural look of my skin and hair.

As for the upscaling feature, it does a good job of enlarging your images even though it's using the lossy JPEG format. It won't replace taking a photo in higher resolution to begin with, so you don't get extra detail if you zoom all the way in. However, it'll let you display your photos on larger screens without making them look pixellated.

Galaxy Enhance-X: Final thoughts

Samsung phones, particularly the Galaxy S22 series, are already among the best camera phones you can buy. However, some users aren't content with using or posting images that have come straight out of their camera app, and that's where Galaxy Enhance-X can help.

If you already pay for a more powerful editing app like Photoshop, Galaxy Enhance-X probably isn't going to be of interest to you unless you fancy a look at what Samsung's auto enhancements look like compared to Adobe's. This app seems mostly handy to users who want to make some simple edits with minimal effort, or who need to quickly upscale an image so it works better for high-resolution projects. But given it's free to download, there's no harm in giving it a try if you have a Samsung Galaxy phone.

Samsung has been launching a whole host of new features recently. Samsung just launched a new "repair mode" for its phones that protects data when a phone is given to be fixed.

Richard Priday
Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • scotth67
    The article claims that any Galaxy phone can use this app. I have a Galaxy A71 5G UW. I just tried to install the app and was told that my phone is not compatible. Not wanting to start a war, but a little correction to the article might be in order.
    Reply
  • EvilEwok
    yeah, not on S20 series either, maybe the S21 gets it?
    Reply
  • TekkieKurt
    I likewise tried to install the app and was told it wasn't compatible with any of my devices. And the page for the app doesn't list compatible devices.
    Reply
  • tonyc035
    Yeah, not compatible with my new A53 (SM-A536U ) running Android 12 or my Tab A (SM-T510) running Android 10, either.
    Reply