Samsung is quietly downgrading the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 8K video recording capabilities

The ‘High Bitrate Videos’ setting has been disabled when recording 8K footage

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is among the best camera-centric Android phones of 2023. In addition to its amazing telephoto cameras, the S23 Ultra can record 8K videos at up to 30 fps. By default, the phone records 8K videos at a bitrate of 80Mbps, though an optional “High Bitrate Videos” button increased the bitrate for even better quality. But this led to some stuttering, which is probably why Samsung quietly disabled this option with the July 2023 update.

There are more reports on Reddit (via Android Authority) from Galaxy S23 Ultra owners that the high bitrate setting will be disabled after installing the latest camera-focused update. Samsung has not officially given an explanation as to why it has disabled this feature. There is a possibility that the company has made this decision following complaints of stuttering and jerking in the recorded videos.

Nevertheless, Samsung should have mentioned this in the update’s changelog. After all, it’s not a pleasant experience to suddenly find a heavily advertised feature disabled on a phone you paid $1,000+ for. For now, you can continue to record high-bitrate videos in 4K resolution at up to 60 fps on the Galaxy S23. Clips recorded with this feature enabled are saved in HEVC format to save space.

Granted, shooting 8K videos from the current crop of smartphones doesn’t offer any massive improvement in quality or detail over 4K clips. For the small advantage they offer, the videos take up more than twice the storage space of a regular 4K recording. Plus, when shooting in 8K, you’re limited to the S23 Ultra’s primary 200MP shooter, as the telephoto and ultrawide cameras can’t shoot in such high resolution.

Samsung might enable the high bitrate option for 8K videos on the Galaxy S23 Ultra with the upcoming One UI 6 beta or One UI 5.1.1 update. Both firmwares should go live within the next few weeks.

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