Edit for clarification, thanks to u/FragmentedChicken for bringing this to my attention: The title was a mistake on my front, I should have called it “incorrectly stated”, “was wrong”, or something similar. I do not believe there was intent behind this, likely just someone copying the wrong field when making material for outlets. I cannot change the title now and will leave the rest of this post unchanged as I feel my point still stands. My main gripe is with their marketing department constantly getting specs wrong and initial reporting being important, as consumers often will refer back to it and a lot of spec lists do not correct these things at a later date, unless the manufacturer informs them directly of the mistake.
As every year, I have been interested in the camera focused changes on Samsung’s newest series of flagship phones. And, as has become a yearly tradition, any goodwill towards improvements gets soured by the multinational conglomerates obscenely large marketing operation being incorrect on their cameras capabilities.
To name a previous example, during the launch of the S20, Samsung dishonestly referred to the 64MP cropping sensor found on the regular and plus variant as a “telephoto sensor”. Now, the sensor gave good magnification results, do not get me wrong, but it was simply not a telephoto sensor. Whilst functionally it served the same purpose, this was still not correct from a technical standpoint and should not happen, but I will admit that from a user perspective, most would not care. This should not justify the mistake, but it is important to note due to the difference with the situation on the S23.
This time, Samsung touted a few changes to their photographic prowess. What interests us are the changes to the ultrawide angle lens found on the S23 and S23+. The marketing material sent out by Samsung states that the sensors used for ultrawide photography now support dual pixel autofocus (DPAF), which would be a major improvement to the camera’s functionality and flexibility.
GSMArena did the test and, you might have guessed it considering the format of this post, there is no autofocus on the ultrawide sensor. This is a major discrepancy with the marketing material and unlike with the zoom example on the S20, here there isn’t even the slim justification that Samsung just employed the incorrect term. The functionality is undeniably not present, despite being advertised. I understand if you personally do not see the use or need for DPAF on ultrawide, but that should not change the fact that it was advertised, yet is not present. Imagine Samsung promising a feature you are excited about, yet by the time you get the phone in hand, you find out that it is not present.
Samsung marketing needs to get this stuff in check. The regularity with which they advertise features that are either presented incorrectly or are outright missing is frankly staggering and, if I may speculate, this behavior would be received very harshly if done by Apple, Google or BBK. I see this as a problem, regardless of my enjoyment with Samsung products, and hope that everyone can put their personal device preferences aside when it comes to criticizing an advertising team that is in such blatant need of a proofreader.
TL;DR: Samsung advertised S23s ultrawide sensor as supporting DPAF. It does not.