The Samsung XR headset and Meta Quest Pro 2 might skip a generation of Qualcomm chipsets to beat the Apple Vision Pro

While next-gen VR devices like the Samsung XR headset still haven’t yet launched, Qualcomm is reportedly already preparing for the next-next-gen models – which could include the Meta Quest Pro 2 and Meta Quest 4.

That’s according to rumors that it's testing new Snapdragon XR2 Gen 3 and XR2+ Gen 3 chipsets, as well as loaning them to headset makers. The XR2 Gen 3 would be an upgrade on the chip that powers the Meta Quest 3, but the XR2+ Gen 3 rumor is perhaps more interesting because we haven’t yet seen any XR2+ Gen 2 models in action. Maybe we never will.

Okay, okay, so we probably will see some XR2+ Gen 2-powered models launch later this year. But some of the big hitters like the aforementioned Samsung XR headset, a Sony headset (that’s not PSVR-related) and an HTC device might see their launch held back if a Gen 3 is around the corner so they can be upgraded; especially because we haven’t heard much about many of these XR2+ Gen 2 headsets since their brief announcement.

Admittedly, upgraded tech is always on the horizon and headset makers can’t forever wait for innovation to stop so they can release their gadgets. But one reason why holding off until the Gen 3 is ready is that it’s apparently a much more significant step up than the XR2+ Gen 2 was compared to the Gen 1 – with the Gen 3 reportedly offering support for up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and Oryon CPU Cores (found in the impressive Snapdragon X Elite) according to XR expert Brad Lynch, and supported by WinFuture's Roland Quandt (via Android Central).

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A necessary upgrade

That 16GB RAM figure is of note because it would seemingly bring XR2+ Gen 3 headsets more in line with the processing power of the Apple Vision Pro – which also has 16GB of RAM – which is currently the one to beat in terms of performance. As such, headset manufacturers may have been candid with Qualcomm by letting it know the XR2+ Gen 2 just isn’t the powerhouse they need it to be, and a new model is needed ASAP.

Lance Ulanoff wearing Apple Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro is a powerhouse (Image credit: Future)

As with all leaks we have to take these XR2+ Gen 3 details with a pinch of salt. Until we see the Gen 3 officially who knows when or if it’s on its way anytime soon. Plus, even if the Gen 3 is being tested right now there are many reasons why we won’t see it for several years – such as manufacturing difficulties that need to be overcome.

But with a few leakers teasing that something is on its way, we wouldn’t be shocked if this Gen 3 XR2+ chipset arrives a lot sooner than we expected. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Samsung Galaxy Ring could help cook up AI-powered meal plans to boost your diet

As we get closer to the full launch of the Samsung Galaxy Ring, we're slowly learning more about its many talents – and some fresh rumors suggest these could include planning meals to improve your diet.

According to the Korean site Chosun Biz (via GSMArena), Samsung plans to integrate the Galaxy Ring with its new Samsung Food app, launched in August 2023

Samsung calls this app an “AI-powered food and recipe platform”, as it can whip up tailored meal plans and even give you step-by-step guides to making specific dishes. The exact integration with the Galaxy Ring isn't clear, but according to the Korean site, the wearable will help make dietary suggestions based on your calorie consumption and body mass index (BMI).

The ultimate aim is apparently to integrate this system with smart appliances (made by Samsung, of course) like refrigerators and ovens. While they aren't yet widely available, appliances like Samsung Bespoke 4-Door Flex Refrigerator and Bespoke AI Oven include cameras that can design or cook recipes based on your dietary needs.

It sounds like the Galaxy Ring, and presumably smartwatches like the incoming Galaxy Watch 7 series, are the missing links in a system that can monitor your health and feed that info into the Samsung Food app, which you can download now for Android and iOS.

The Ring's role in this process will presumably be more limited than smartwatches, whose screens can help you log meals and more. But the rumors hint at how big Samsung's ambitions are for its long-awaited ring, which will be a strong new challenger in our best smart rings guide when it lands (most likely in July).

Hungry for data

A phone on a grey background showing the Samsung Food app

(Image credit: Samsung)

During our early hands-on with the Galaxy Ring, it was clear that Samsung is mostly focusing on its sleep-tracking potential. It goes beyond Samsung's smartwatches here, offering unique insights including night movement, resting heart rate during sleep, and sleep latency (the time it takes to fall asleep).

But Samsung has also talked up the Galaxy Ring's broader health potential more recently. It'll apparently be able to generate a My Vitality Score in Samsung's Health app (by crunching together data like your activity and heart rate) and eventually integrate with appliances like smart fridges.

This means it's no surprise to hear that the Galaxy Ring could also play nice with the Samsung Food app. That said, the ring's hardware limitations mean this will likely be a minor feature initially, as its tracking is more focused on sleep and exercise. 

We're actually more excited about the Ring's potential to control our smart home than integrate with appliances like smart ovens, but more features are never a bad thing – as long as you're happy to give up significant amounts of health data to Samsung.

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Samsung XR/VR headset – everything we know so far and what we want to see

We know for certain that a new Samsung XR/VR headset is in the works, with the device being made in partnership with Google. But much of the XR product’s details (XR, or extended reality, is a catchall for virtual, augmented, and mixed reality) are still shrouded in mystery. 

This so-called Apple Vision Pro rival (an XR headset from Apple) will likely have impressive specs – Qualcomm has confirmed its new Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 chip will be in the headset, and Samsung Display-made screens will probably be featured. It'll also likely have an equally premium price tag. Unfortunately, until Samsung says anything officially, we won’t know exactly how much it will cost, or when it will be released.

But using the few tidbits of official info, as well as our industry knowledge and the rumors out there, we can make some educated guesses that can clue you into the Samsung XR/VR headset’s potential price, release date, and specs – and we’ve got them down below. We’ve also highlighted a few of the features we’d like to see when it’s eventually unveiled to the public.

Samsung XR/VR headset: Price

The Samsung Gear VR headset on a red desk

The Samsung Gear VR, you needed a phone to operate it (Image credit: samsung)

We won’t know how much Samsung and Google’s new VR headset will cost until the device is officially announced, but most rumors point to it boasting premium specs – so expect a premium price.

Some early reports suggested Samsung was looking at something in the $ 1,000 / £1,000 / AU$ 1,500 range (just like the Meta Quest Pro) though it may have changed its plans. After the Apple Vision Pro reveal, it’s believed Samsung delayed the device most likely to make it a better Vision Pro rival in Samsung’s eyes – the Vision Pro is impressive, as you can find out from our hands-on Apple Vision Pro review.

If that’s the case, the VR gadget might not only more closely match the Vision Pro’s specs it might adopt the Vision Pro’s $ 3,499 (about £2,725 / AUS$ 5,230) starting price too, or something close to it.

Samsung XR/VR headset: Release date

Much like its price, we don’t know anything concrete about the incoming Samsung VR headset's release date yet. But a few signs point to a 2024 announcement – if not a 2024 release.

Firstly, there was the teaser Samsung revealed in February 2023 when it said it was partnering with Google to develop an XR headset. It didn’t set a date for when we’d hear more, but Samsung likely wouldn’t make this teasing announcement if the project was still a long way from finishing. Usually, a more full reveal happens a year or so from the teaser – so around February 2024.

There was a rumor that Samsung’s VR headset project was delayed after the Vision Pro announcement, though the source maintained that the headset would still arrive in 2024 – just mid-to-late 2024, rather than February.

Three people on stage at Samsung Unpacked 2023 teasing Samsung's future of XR

The Samsung Unpacked 2023 XR headset teaser (Image credit: Samsung)

Then there’s the Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 chipset announcement. Qualcomm was keen to highlight Samsung and Google as partners that would be putting the chipset to use. 

It would be odd to highlight these partners if its headset was still a year or so from launching. Those partners may have preferred to work with a later next-gen chip, if the XR/VR headset was due in 2025 or later. So this would again point to a 2024 reveal, if not a precise date this year.

Lastly, there have also been suggestions that the Samsung VR headset might arrive alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 6 – Samsung's folding phone that's also due to arrive in 2024.

Samsung XR/VR headset: Specs

A lot of the new Samsung VR headset’s specs are still a mystery. We can assume it’ll use Samsung-made displays (it would be wild if Samsung used screens from one of its competitors) but the type of display tech (for example, QLED, OLED or LCD), resolution, and size are still unknown.

We also don’t know what size battery it’ll have, or its storage space, or its RAM. Nor what design it will adopt – will it look like the Vision Pro with an external display, like the Meta Quest 3 or Quest Pro, or something all-new?

Key Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 specs, including that it has support fo 4.3k displays, 8x better AI performance, and 2.5x better GPU performance

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

But we do know one thing. It’ll run (as we predicted) on a brand-new Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 chip from Qualcomm – an updated version of the chipset used by the Meta Quest Pro, and slightly more powerful than the XR2 Gen 2 found in the Meta Quest 3.

The upshot is that this platform can now support two displays at 4.3K resolution running at up to 90fps. It can also manage over 12 separate camera inputs that VR headsets will rely on for tracking – including controllers, objects in the space, and face movements – and it has more advanced AI capabilities, 2.5x better GPU performance, and Wi-Fi 7 (as well as 6 and 6E).

What we want to see from the new Samsung XR/VR headset

1. Samsung’s XR/VR headset to run on the Quest OS 

Girl wearing Meta Quest 3 headset interacting with a jungle playset

We’d love to see the best Quest apps on Samsung’s VR headset (Image credit: Meta)

This is very much a pipe dream. With Google and Samsung already collaborating on the project it’s unlikely they’d want to bring in a third party – especially if this headset is intended to compete with Apple and Meta hardware.

But the Quest platform is just so good; by far the best we’ve seen on standalone VR headsets. It’s clean, feature-packed, and home to the best library of VR games and apps out there. The only platform that maybe beats it is Steam, but that’s only for people who want to be tethered to a PC rig.

By partnering with Meta, Samsung’s headset would get all of these benefits, and Meta would have the opportunity to establish its OS as the Windows or Android of the spatial computing space – which might help its Reality Labs division to generate some much-needed revenue by licensing the platform to other headset manufacturers.

2. A (relatively) affordable price tag

Oculus Quest 2 on a white background

The Quest 2 is the king of VR headsets, because it’s affordable  (Image credit: Shutterstock / Boumen Japet)

There’s only been one successful mainstream VR headset so far: the Oculus Quest 2. The Meta-made device has accounted for the vast, vast majority of VR headset sales over the past few years (eclipsing the total lifetime sales of all previous Oculus VR headsets combined in just five months) and that’s down to one thing; it’s so darn cheap.

Other factors (like a pandemic that forced everyone inside) probably helped a bit. But fundamentally, getting a solid VR headset for $ 299 / £299 / AU$ 479 is a very attractive offer. It could be better specs-wise but it’s more than good enough and offers significantly more bang for your buck than the PC-VR rigs and alternative standalone headsets that set you back over $ 1,000 when you factor in everything you need.

Meta’s Quest Pro, the first headset it launched after the Quest 2 that has a much more premium $ 999 / £999 / AU$ 1,729 price (it launched at $ 1,500 / £1,500 / AU$ 2,450) has seemingly sold significantly worse. We don’t have exact figures but using the Steam Hardware Survey figures for December 2023 we can see that while 37.87% of Steam VR players use a Quest 2 (making it the most popular option, and more than double the next headset) only 0.44% use a Quest Pro – that’s about 86 times less.

The Apple Vision Pro headset on a grey background

The Apple Vision Pro is too pricey (Image credit: Apple)

So by making its headset affordable, Samsung would likely be in a win-win situation. We win because its headset isn’t ridiculously pricey like the $ 3,499 (around £2,800 / AU$ 5,300) Apple Vision Pro. Samsung wins because its headset has the best chance of selling super well.

We’ll have to wait and see what’s announced by Samsung, but we suspect we’ll be disappointed on the price front. A factor that could keep this device from becoming one of the best VR headsets out there.

3. Controllers and space for glasses 

We’ve combined two smaller points into one for this last ‘what we want to see’.

Hand tracking is neat, but ideally it’ll just be an optional feature on the upcoming Samsung VR headset rather than the only way to operate it – which is the case with the Vision Pro. 

Most VR apps are designed with controllers in mind, and because most headsets now come with handsets that have similar button layouts it’s a lot easier to port software to different systems. 

Meta Quest 3 controllers floating in a turquoise colored void.

The Meta Quest 3’s controllers are excellent, copy these Samsung (Image credit: Meta )

There are still challenges, but if your control scheme doesn’t need to be reinvented, developers have told us that’s a massive time-saver. So having controllers with this standard layout could help Samsung get a solid library of games and apps on its system by making it easier for developers to bring their software to it.

We’d also like it to be easy for glasses wearers to use the new Samsung VR headset. The Vision Pro’s prescription lenses solution is needlessly pricey when headsets like the Quest 2 and Quest 3 have a free in-built solution for the problem – an optional spacer or way to slightly extend the headset so it’s further from your face leaving room for specs.

Ideally, Samsung’s VR headset would also have a free and easy solution for glasses wearers, too.

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Think Google and Samsung are sleeping on Apple Vision Pro? Qualcomm has news for you

Among the new chips I saw from Qualcomm last year, the most impactful may have been the Snapdragon AR1 Gen 1 and Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipsets, found in the Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses and the Meta Quest 3 mixed reality (MR) headset, respectively. With Apple Vision Pro promising a new concept of spatial computing sometime this year, of course, Qualcomm is getting ready for the competition. Today it announced a new Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 chipset that will power new products from Google, Samsung, and others. 

Qualcomm did not name any headsets specifically, only those important partners, with more on the way soon. It said that products with the new XR2 Plus Gen 2 chipset, which is clearly aimed at taking on Apple Vision Pro, could hit the market as soon as 2024, but we will definitely see new devices in 2025. 

Unlike Apple’s super-expensive Vision Pro, which costs close to $ 3,500 in the US, Qualcomm says devices that use its new chipset will be priced closer to today’s XR2 offerings. The Meta Quest 3 starts at $ 500.

The Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 has more graphics power

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 reference design headset and logo

The reference design for a Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2 headset (Image credit: Qualcomm)

What can the improved Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 offer that today’s chipset can’t handle? It’s all about the graphics performance. Qualcomm says its new platform can drive two displays at 4.3K resolution up to 90FPS. It's so advanced that Qualcomm admits the display technology doesn’t even exist today to support the chipset’s maximum capability, but they expect more advanced displays will hit the market soon. 

Improving the graphics performance on mixed reality displays is important because it makes the experience more comfortable in so many ways. Whether that is reducing motion dizziness, improving the clarity of details in the digital image, or even producing more natural colors and color gradations, every bit of performance improvement is necessary to create a world that not only looks real but also feels real and comfortable when you interact with digital objects. 

Qualcomm goes on to tout the advanced capabilities of the Snapdragon XR2 platform, like its ability to manage up to 12 or more separate camera input channels. Of course, until Samsung or Google (or maybe both working together?!) create a headset with 12 cameras on board, those capabilities are just for white papers and prototypes. It will take a manufacturer to bring this to market. 

Analysis: Qualcomm wants to be the 200lb gorilla

While folks with little mixed reality experience were totally blown away by the Apple Vision Pro headset, the MR industry was much more skeptical. If you’ve had a chance to try the Meta Quest 3, a product that costs less than 15% of what Apple’s headset will cost, you can understand why. 

The Meta Quest 3 isn’t as magical as Apple’s offering, but it’s much closer to achieving real magic than you’d expect, and we’re still very early in that headset’s lifespan. 

While all of the attention will certainly be focused on Apple Vision Pro this year, it’s unlikely you’ll actually be able to buy one (you might be able to test-drive it in an Apple Store, though). Most of us don’t have that kind of cash for a secondary device, especially one that runs an unproven computing concept.

Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Plus Gen 2 reference design headset and logo

Qualcomm’s announcement dropped big hints (Image credit: Qualcomm)

However, when the next holiday season rolls around, Qualcomm might be the brains behind a new Google or Samsung headset that gives you 80% of the Vision Pro experience, for 20% of the price.

Qualcomm was champing at the bit to tell us more about new products on the way and dropped a lot of “sooner rather than later” hints, so we might see more product news as early as CES. We’ve had our eyes on Google and Samsung, both of whom offered VR headsets in the past but no longer, to re-enter the market and take on Vision Pro and Meta Quest.

If you’re saving up for a cool mixed reality headset this year, keep saving, but don’t skip meals and sell your kidneys just to afford the Apple Vision Pro, not yet. Qualcomm has started 2024 with a promise that MR is going to get more interesting, and more affordable, all at once.

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Samsung Glasses could be the name of a new pair of Samsung smart specs

Rumors of some kind of Samsung smart glasses have been swirling for years at this point, but it looks as though the wait for an actual device might soon be over: Samsung has filed to register “Samsung Glasses” as a trademark in the UK.

This comes from UploadVR (via Android Central), and the filing comes with a description of the categories the product covers: virtual reality headsets, augmented reality headsets, headphones, smartphones, and smart glasses.

That covers a lot of ground. Virtual reality or VR means fully enclosed digital experiences, augmented reality or AR means looking at the real world with digital graphics overlaid on top, mixed reality or MR is enhanced AR where the digital elements and real elements interact, and extended reality or XR is used to mean VR, AR and MR all together.

Exactly which category the Samsung Glasses might fall into remains to be seen, but we know that the company is working on several different products offering these technologies, after previously being responsible for the Samsung Gear VR.

What to expect

Samsung itself has confirmed that it has an XR headset in the pipeline to rival the Apple Vision Pro, but it's not expected to appear until later in 2024, so that Samsung has time to get features such as display sharpness as good as they can be.

The term “glasses” really doesn't sound like a headset, anyway. Could it be that Samsung is also working on a pair of AR specs? We've seen suggestions of this in previous years, though no confirmation from Samsung itself.

Or, we might be talking about more basic smart glasses: able to take photos and videos, an on-board smart assistant, but no fancy augmented reality. See our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review for Meta's recent entry in this product category.

Right now it's not clear exactly what to expect – but it looks very much like Samsung will soon launch a device that you can wear on your face. Its next big launch event should be for the Samsung Galaxy S24 phone, sometime in January.

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Samsung may be adding AI to its home appliances – I’m so ready to chat to my oven

Samsung is set to bet big on the AI hype and enhance a range of home appliances with AI capabilities – including premium and budget appliances across multiple categories, like smart TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, and everything in between. 

According to DigiTimes, the tech giant intends to “equip all its new home appliance products with neural processing units (NPUs)” in 2024. Samsung’s Home Appliances Division is apparently working on updating various smart device chipsets, with the goal being to enable power-efficient, always-on AI tools that’ll assist users. 

This could mean a variety of new features will be made available to spruce up your home, like advanced voice recognition and a smarter version of Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby, which could answer questions and work with the rest of your smart home to help come up with lists or answer queries. 

Never burn a cake again!

As noted by Tom’s Hardware, one of the more exciting possibilities the proposed AI integration could lead to is smart ovens. As someone who regularly battles with my low-tech oven, a smart oven that can suggest cooking times, tell me when things are burning, or advise me that my dinner needs to be cooked a little longer would be great. 

AI integration may seem like it’s going off the rails a little bit with how quickly our day-to-day lives are getting boosted by artificial intelligence. But, if there’s one tech department that would greatly benefit from that intelligent upgrade, it’s smart home appliances.

That being said, the change may not be welcomed by everyone. There is the concern of privacy and security, and the strange new territory of giving a little more of our life to the bots. But if it keeps me from burning my cakes, I’m willing to let this one slide.

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New Samsung Food app can help you master the art of cooking right at home

Samsung is stepping into the kitchen as it launches its new “AI-powered food and recipe platform” – the aptly named Samsung Food. 

The app isn’t completely new as it draws much of its information from the “extensive database of Whisk, a smart food [company]” bought by Samsung NEXT back in 2019. Utilizing Whisk’s Food AI tech, however, Samsung Food acts as a personal assistant of sorts by helping people find interesting recipes. 

According to the official announcement, the software adapts to users in order to “create tailored meal plans” that meet an individual's dietary and nutritional needs. It will also provide step-by-step guides on how to cook a dish if you're new to cooking. 

As you can see in the trailer above, there is more to the app than simply being a cookbook on a smartphone. Once you save a dish to your personal “recipe box”, Samsung Food will analyze the entry then provide a shopping list of the ingredients that you need make it. The company claims that it's possible to adjust dishes via the Personalize Recipe tool. 

As an example, you can replace meat ingredients with vegetable substitutes if you’re a vegan or tweak a few things to make something more “nutritionally balanced”. 

However, it appears there is a discrepancy between the trailer and the actual app. While using it, we were unable to personalize any of recipes like it shows in the trailer – though it is possible we just weren't using one of the adjustable dishes available.


Samsung Food is currently available for download from both the App Store and Google Play Store. It’s being released across 104 countries around the world in eight different languages, including English, German, Spanish, French and Korean. In total, you will have over 160,000 recipes at your fingertips. 

Upon installation, the app will ask you a series of questions like whether or not you follow a specific diet or if you’re allergic to anything. It will avoid recommending recipes that will trigger an allergic reaction. For those who want more specific suggestions, you can enter personal details like age, height, weight, and overall activity level.

Samsung Food sign-up pages

(Image credit: Future)

The majority of recipes on the platform will take to you a third-party website when you select the Instructions tab while others will on the app itself. You can tell which ones will take you outside Samsung Food by looking underneath the main image. 

If it's a URL, it will be a third-party website. If it's a person's name, it will be in-app. The name belongs to one of the many cooking influencers on the platform.

Future updates

It appears that Samsung has some big plans for its Food app. The tech giant states it will be “adding new features and services to the app for an even more… comprehensive” experience. By the end of this year, it aims to fully integrate Samsung Health in order to offer advice to users on how to properly manage their personal nutrition.

Next year in 2024, Samsung will upgrade the platform with Vision AI tech, giving the app the ability to recognize food “photographed through the [on-device] camera”. Doing so will provide important nutrition information as well “recommend the best [dishes] to use them with”.

If you’re thinking of trying your hand at cooking but don’t know where to start, we recommend getting an air fryer. They’re pretty cheap and easy to use. Be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best air fryers for 2023


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Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra isn’t a TikTok machine and I’m a little disappointed

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is not ready to be my TikTok creation platform.

That’s right, I TikTok. Don’t look at me like that. There are lots of middle-aged people lip-synching, dancing, showing off hacks, and demonstrating oddball skills on the wildly popular social media platform.

My channel is not filled with dances or songs. It’s mostly a hodgepodge of conversations with myself, visual tricks, tech stuff, and a lot of me experiencing the latest trending filter. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of filters, which rely on augmented reality to transform my face into animals, movie characters, optical illusions. They’re harmless fun.

While I can find filters that do work, some of the newest, coolest and maybe most sophisticated ones do not work on Samsung’s premier smartphone.

TikTok fail screens

TikTok filter fail screens on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Image credit: Future)

This came as something of a surprise to me. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is an excellent and powerful Android 12 phone. It has a great collection of powerful cameras, including two 10 MP telephotos, 108MP wide and 12Mp ultrawide on the back, and a 40MP camera on the front.

It’s that last camera that I rely on for TikTok work. It’s more than capable of shooting standard TikTok videos. However, every time I try to use a new, trending filter like Raindrop control (which lets you freeze raindrops by using hand motions), or SYMMETRY (which lets you see what you’d look like if both sides of your face were exactly the same – for me the answer was Voldemort), the app informs me, “This effect doesn’t work with this device.”

Even simple filters like the “Your Decade,” which guesses your birth decade theoretically based on how you look (though I think it may be random), don’t work.

Listen, I like to spend a portion of each evening losing myself in the TikTok stream. It’s mind-numbing, entertaining, and kind of relaxing. When I see a fun filter, I like to try it out. I don’t always post the often-embarrassing results, and my draft folder is filled with unpublished efforts.

There’s real joy in consuming TikTok video on the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s high-definition 6.8-inch AMOLED, 120Hz-capable display, which only intensifies the frustration when I can’t test drive a new filter.

But why?

From a technical perspective, this, at least on the surface, makes little sense. The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s 40MP front-facing camera is capable of some light AR work. There’s literally an AR Zone in the Camera app that lets me doodle in AR on my face, turn my whole head into an AR emoji, and do other AR-based tricks.

There are, when it comes to the front camera, limitations. In the AR Doodle, it will only support face doodles. Plus, even though the phone can plop a dinosaur head emoji on my body that can follow my head's movement and some facial expressions, it’s not that precise.

AR options in Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

AR options in Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Image credit: Future)

If I were to compare what’s possible with Apple’s TrueDepth Module on the front of its iPhone 13 line with what the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s single front-facing camera is capable of, I’d call the Samsung effort a 1.0 version.

Ever since Apple introduced that depth-sensing module, its front-facing camera’s AR capabilities have grown substantially. When the iPhone 13 Pro paints my face with Mardi Gras makeup, the effect is realistic and disturbing. As I’m sure you know the camera is fully capable of supporting all of TikTok’s latest filters and effects.

Need some answers

I’ve contacted Samsung for more details on why the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra doesn’t support all these filters and will update this post with the company’s response. Perhaps they’ll tell me it’s just a matter of a software update, but I doubt it. That lone camera can only do so much with software to understand the real-world depth and create a realistic marriage between artificial reality and my face.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra’s rear camera array includes a laser to assist with autofocus. It does that by reading the depth information of a subject and their environment. I’d have to assume that if Samsung had drilled one additional hole in the screen next to the 40MP front camera for a laser, it might also have brought that depth info to the front of the phone, and then better support all those TikTok filters.

So, while you’re passing harsh judgment on my TikTok activities, maybe spare some for a brand-new, innovative phone that somehow forgets to fully support the world’s most popular social media platform.

As for me, I guess I’ll stick to my iPhone 13 Pro in my unending quest to become TikTok famous.

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