Skip to main content

The Galaxy S5 has a great Photosphere mode, but you have to download it first

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.

After installing Surround Shot from Samsung's app store (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab)

Alex was with Android Central for over a decade, producing written and video content for the site, and served as global Executive Editor from 2016 to 2022.

  • Anyone know if that app is available for the S4? I have the gallery APK that allows me to do that but I would like to check out the Samsung version.
  • Apparently this site doesn't allow links. I tried to post a link for the apk compatible with the GS4.
  • There is a better one for S3/S4. Recently a Silicon Valley startup Hyvaview released its "Hyvaview Camera" App. It turns out the best in this category. For pros, it offers the highest resolution, up to 50M pix, plus the best focus. For selfies, it lets you take "selfie sphere". Think it's the best,
  • You have to download it because they didn't want to take anymore memory from you lol Posted via Android Central App
  • Damned if they do, damned if they don't? Some people are constantly complaining... :)
  • I was complaining?! I would rather choose if I want it or not by downloading it but it was a knock on Samsung for taking up so much space on there phones. Some people don't have common sense or know how to read, geez.
    Posted via Android Central App
  • Yeah but I have expandable memory for all my pictures and music so I can dedicate the internal to apps. -------------------------------------------
    You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you
  • I did that with my wife's note 2 and her phone kept filling up with the thumbnails photos even though the actual photos were on the SD card and phone ran slow because it only had 200 MB remaining. My purpose was never to get into a debate or anything but that Samsung just needs to lift the minimal GB to 32gb. Posted via Android Central App
  • Not only is it the wise thing to do to utilize clouds and external drives, but its far more efficient than bragging about expandable memory and memory cards. You claim to have an abundance of photos, what purpose does it serve to keep them on your devices expandable memory cards when in cloud storage you have immediate access as well. To veiw, transfer, edit.....exc. Either method serves the same purpose. To keep the internal memory free. So using a memory card is better than a cloud how? One can print saved items just as up memory, just as easy.....utilize WiFi to print documents? Yep, just as easy. I can sit in my living room, send an invoice to my office two rooms over and have it print. Not stored on my device, nope, miraculously I accessed my cloud and voila. Your "expandable memory" debate is invalid. Get to know your technology before you go boasting about something that will be a thing of the past very soon. Think of your little memory cards as a cassette storage is the compact disc. Easier, cheaper, and you don't have to worry about misplacing it. Or losing information from dropping it, it getting wet, stolen, or even broken. Use a backup, like you should anyway, store it in a safe little cloud and quit the alchemy. Memory cards are inferior. Unless of course you like the waste of space on your junk droor filled. But none-the-less, you enjoy, don't forget to partition your 64gb, then format, then use..........I'll take a picture and send it to my cloud.......(no internal momory loss heehee) :)
  • You're mean. completely right of course. but mean. ;) x
  • Looks like the same one on the Note 3. Much better than the Android version.
  • I like it.
  • The Galaxy S5 has a great... PHOTOSPHERE!
  • It's an app with set parameters and image placement is vital. If you're using it properly, it is focused by the time the user aligns the photo within the grid. Setting aside mp slights, it would technically be the users ability, all photosphere software is designed about the same thus making your statemt a bit silly. But everyone is entitled I suppose. :)
  • ***statement***
  • Is there any room left for that? Posted via Android Central App
  • Is this any different to the mode pre-installed on my Note 3 (4.4.2)? Awesome A C
  • Plunder, I think so, it was stated that the stitched shot clocked in at 52Mb, my Note 3 (4.2.2) surround shots clocks in at around 9Mb, which is significantly more than the Google Photosphere. What is the S5 app/apk called at Samsung Apps? And I should be able to install it on my non-rooted Note 3? Cant wait to try this! Thanks for any help.
  • I am somehow not authorized to edit my posting above, even though I am logged in, whats up with that?.Anyway, so the link for the app is posted in the above article. I checked it out and its only available for the S5. Did someone port it from there, so it can be used on a Note 3 which has 4.4.2? Thanks.
  • I would like to print a panoramic photo from the S5 - any suggestions?