There are few trends in modern smartphones which took hold quite like portrait mode. It's a simple concept – using a special mode on your phone camera, the background is artistically blurred, leaving you with great shots that put the subject front and centre in the frame.
But did you know that Samsung phones even allow you to add the portrait mode blur to images after they've been captured – including those which weren't taken on the device? That's a great additional feature, and means that you can easily add an extra dimension to any photos you have on your phone or tablet. The Google Pixel 7 range does something similar with their Magic Eraser and Photo Unblur settings.
It's not just limited to newer devices either. No need to splash out on a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra – any device capable of running One UI 4.1 or newer will work.
To use it, simply select the photo in your gallery, open up the menu and tap "Add Portrait Effect". The processing takes a couple of seconds, and you even have the option to dial in the perfect amount of blurriness with a slider.
It's not quite as seamless as the native lens – the effect will only work when it can detect a face. That works with people, animals and even statues, but you won't be able to edit artsy photos of plants or other inanimate objects with the same ease.
What it does offer is a greater degree of flexibility than the portrait mode in the camera app. For example, photos shot with the ultrawide sensor, or under more intense zoom can get the effect – something you can't do at the point of capture.
That makes it a great feature for all users. Sure, if you don't have portrait mode on your phone, or you have stacks of old photos which could be improved with the help of some background blur, it's an obvious win. But it can also improve the versatility of modern camera setups, allowing users more choice over the composition of their images.