Samsung

Samsung’s Object Eraser mode takes on Google’s Magic Eraser

Samsung's Object Eraser mode takes on Google's Magic Eraser

Google made a splash with its Magic Eraser feature for Google Photos on Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but it’s no longer the only way to remove unwanted elements from your photos. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the same kind of feature is waiting for you and it’s called Object Eraser. It’s a bit hidden, but here’s how to use it and how it compares to Google’s similar tool.

Item eraser

What does Samsung’s Object Eraser do? There are three different tools in the Object Eraser arsenal: The main Object Eraser mode, plus the option to erase shadows and highlights. At first glance, you might think that all it does is remove shadows and highlights due to the way the app interface is laid out, but just like in Google’s Magic Eraser, if you trace around an object or person in your photo, the software will digitally erase For You.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Samsung’s Object Eraser photo editing tool is part of the Photo Editor suite, and to get it you need to be running the latest version of the software. On our review model, it is V.3.0.21.27. Even so, it’s not the main feature of the editing suite. Instead, it’s one of Samsung Labs’ experimental features, which means you should treat it like a beta and understand that it might not work perfectly every time. Google treats Magic Eraser the same way.

Object Eraser works on the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

You must enable Labs features yourself. Open the Gallery app on the phone, select a photo you want to edit, tap the Pencil icon to enter edit mode, then tap the dots at the bottom right of the screen to open the extended menu. Here, if Labs is already enabled and you have the latest version of Photo Editor, you will see the Object Eraser feature. Otherwise, follow the Labs icon at the bottom of the screen to activate it, or tap About Photo Editor to check for an app update.

Does it work?

In the galleries below, you’ll see an original photo, two versions edited using Object Eraser, and the same original photo edited using Google’s Magic Eraser. First I chose a photo I took during the Galaxy S22 Ultra review, which shows a person and two dogs on the beach. With Object Eraser open, I tapped on the dogs and the person and the software immediately recognized the shape and outline, and after tapping erase, they were gone from your photo forever.

Can you tell? Yes, absolutely, but the situation was complicated for the software because it is difficult to reproduce the pebble beach and effectively remove objects from the photo entirely. You end up with blurry spots where they once were, with disembodied shadows. Object Eraser’s ability to remove shadows does not apply to these, and as you can see in the third photo, the Shadow Removal tool actually removes shadows from the scene as a whole, effectively brightening it.

How about a little easier scene? The photo of the car is not a good photo, but there is a person in the background ready to be removed. Object Eraser is very good at doing this, and if you didn’t know there was a person in the original photo, I don’t think you can tell in the edited version. I found Google’s Magic Eraser to be equally good at erasing small numbers.

I was wondering if removing the shadows from Object Eraser would be able to improve the photo of the car, but it didn’t make a big difference. You should also be prepared for a major drop in quality when using the shadow and flare reduction feature, as the file size was reduced for me each time and pixelation is evident afterwards. It’s not a tool I would use for that reason, no matter if it makes a difference in the photo.

How does Magic Eraser compare?

Let’s see how Magic Eraser handles the same scenes. It can be used on any photo stored in your Google Photos account, as long as you access it on a Pixel 6 device. Starting with the photo of the beach with the two dogs and the person, you first circle objects with your finger and the software then isolates what it is going to remove. Press erase, and they’re gone.

It’s immediately apparent that Magic Eraser reproduces the background better in place of the person and the dogs, especially on the dog on the far left of the photo. If the shadow wasn’t there, a quick glance probably wouldn’t alert you to the fact that it was altered in any way.

In the car photo, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s Object Eraser actually does a slightly better job, but you have to zoom in to identify it. Both remove the person, but Magic Eraser adds part of the range to the path section, making it easier for you to see where the person was placed before deleting it. Only the person who removed the character from the photo will ever know.

Take a look at the other examples of Object Eraser and Magic Eraser in action above and below. The person is convincingly removed by Object Eraser in the first photo, but the orange shopping bag is left behind, floating spookily along the street in mid-air. The passerby in the second photo gallery leaves behind a ghostly haze, but Object Eraser’s software manages to recreate some of the railings. It’s fine until you look closely.

Put the same photos in Magic Eraser and in the street photo, he understands that the orange bag needs to be removed, but although there is less haze around the deleted person in the other photo, the railings clearly indicate that something has changed. Neither is perfect, but still, one beats the other.

What is better?

Having an eraser tool outside of a Pixel phone is great news, and for the most part Samsung’s Object Eraser works well provided you don’t put too much pressure on it. Small miniatures are very effectively removed from existence, but the system’s object recognition isn’t that smart, so don’t expect it to be flawless.

Magic Eraser is the most advanced tool, although it seems to be trying too hard in some circumstances. By not trying to be perfect every time, some Magic Eraser work would look more convincing. However, I like that it recognizes things that it can automatically delete, unlike Object Eraser, which makes it more transparent to use. It’s a one-touch process. In the photos above, you might notice that Magic Eraser has removed other characters in the background compared to the Object Eraser photo, and that’s because I didn’t have to at all select them to delete them. I just pressed clear and it did it for me.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Google’s experience in computational photography and object recognition, Magic Eraser wins here, but Samsung isn’t that far behind and can still beat the Google tool in certain situations. . Be sure to try Object Eraser on your Galaxy S22 Ultra.

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