Surround Shot

Samsung's Surround Shot add-on lets you take Photosphere images

Many Android phone makers have developed their own take on Google's Photosphere — the feature on Nexus phones which lets you take 360-degree panoramic images. LG has its VR Panorama, HTC has Panorama 360 on the One M8, and Samsung launched Surround Shot on the Galaxy Note 3 last year. On the Galaxy S5, however, it's not included out of the box — it's a downloadable plug-in you need to snag from Samsung apps.

Read on for more info.

Surround Shot UI

After installing Surround Shot from Samsung's app store, you'll find it alongside all the other shooting modes in the GS5's camera app. Surround Shot works a lot like the it does on the Note 3. You'll take a bunch of captures to fill up a 360-degree view of the world, and have the option to stop at any time, or undo your last capture. And as before, you've got a little 3D globe down below showing you what you've captured so far, making it easy to tell where to rotate to next.

Surround Shot images can be shared to Google+ just like Photospheres.

Individual captures seem much faster now, and notably quicker than the Nexus 5's Photosphere mode. And the GS5's 16-megapixel shooter allows it to capture a huge amount detail in these Surround Shot images — our sample shots weighed in at a whopping 52 megapixels each. You'll still occasionally run into issues with tearing and segments that aren't quite exposed the same as the surrounding areas, but these are thankfully rare. Overall, Samsung has one of the best implementations of this feature we've seen.

Once you've captured and processed your 360-degree image, you can share it to Google+ just like a regular Photosphere shot. Don't worry about exiting out of the camera app when a Surround Shot image is processing — it'll continue working in the background.

Check out a few samples, and let us know what you think down in the comments.

Surround Shot sample

Surround Shot sample

Download: Surround Shot on Samsung Apps