Galaxy S21 Ultra Takes Its 8K Video Snap Feature Underwater Diving

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Smartphone cameras are getting more powerful these days to the point that some are advertised to replace entry-level pro cameras and DSLRs. That may be true in the most common cases, but specialized equipment is often still needed in extreme settings, such as underwater photography. More than just waterproofing, the environment can be tricky for smartphone cameras because of how light works beneath the waves. Samsung, however, says it is no problem for its Galaxy S21 Ultra, and it has enlisted the help of National Geographic India to prove it.

To be clear, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G wasn't used under the sea naked. Not even the most waterproof phone would survive salty and abrasive seawater at great depths for long periods of time. The phone was enclosed in a specially-designed case made for underwater photography, but that didn't get in the way of the real point that Samsung wanted to make in its marketing stunt.

The phone maker partnered with National Geographic Traveller India and Wildlife Filmmaker Malaika Vaz to test the Galaxy S21 Ultra's 8K chops underwater. The crew traveled to Fuvamulah, the shark island of Maldives, to chance upon the ironic Tiger Sharks, one of the ocean's greatest predators but also gentle around humans (unless provoked, of course). While waiting for the sharks to appear, Vaz also had the opportunity to encounter other forms of marine wildlife in their natural habitat and, more importantly, in great and colorful detail.

At the center of Samsung's marketing is the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G's 8K Video Snap. It saves users from having to choose between 8K videos or 8K photos beforehand and lets them easily extract 33MP still photos from those 8K videos. Given the aquatic environment and the underwater case, it is admittedly impressive that the phone was able to produce professional-looking photos.

Of course, the 108MP primary camera is the Galaxy S21 Ultra's centerpiece, especially above water. Samsung also took the opportunity to remind users and prospective buyers that the phone is also suitable for 4K 60fps videos. In fact, all its cameras are capable of recording in that format, including the one on the front.