The Galaxy S21 makes it easier to hide your background in a video call

Verizon 5G on the Galaxy S21
Verizon 5G on the Galaxy S21 (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Galaxy S21 smartphones can apply background blur and images within any video calling app.
  • This is apparently a system-level feature, meaning it works on some apps that the phone detects are being used for video calling.
  • It's apparently still a work-in-progress, with mixed results depending on the app.

The run-up to the Samsung Galaxy S21 smartphones' release day is turning out to be just as interesting as the weeks and months leading up to the devices unveiling at Galaxy Unpacked. There seem to be a ton of new features that Samsung failed to mention, and we're learning about them the more we play with the phones. The latest feature has to do with video calling, and how Samsung applies some AI magic to your favorite apps.

Pointed out by Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) from Android Police, the Galaxy S21 has the ability to apply a few AI background effects when using some of the best video teleconferencing apps on android. In order to activate the feature, users have to navigate to Settings > Advanced Features > Video Call Effects, which will present a floating bubble that will pop up when a video chat app is opened.

The feature is currently available for just a handful of applications, including Google Duo, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco's Webex. It's unclear if or when the feature will be available on more apps, or if it will trickle down to older Galaxy devices. Apparently, the feature is still very much a work-in-progress, and results may vary depending on the app.

It should be noted that this is a feature that many of these apps already have built-in, particularly since the advent of the global pandemic. Samsung's approach is at the system level though, meaning the potential is for any video chat application to make use of it if they don't already have these features.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.