- Samsung announced a partnership with Microsoft at CES 2024 to enable Galaxy phones to be used as wireless webcams for Windows PCs, offering advanced camera controls like background blur and auto framing.
- The feature will work with Galaxy smartphones running One UI 6.0 or higher and will require a Samsung Galaxy Book series device with Windows 11 24H1 OS.
- The new Phone Link webcam feature is expected to be available in March 2024 and will allow users to switch between front and rear cameras, pause video, and apply various camera effects, including background blur and auto framing.
Increasingly, people are finding their PC’s webcam lacking in comparison to their smartphone’s capabilities. Google’s December 2023 Android release allowed Pixel phones to function as webcams for PCs, though it lacked wireless support. At CES 2024, Samsung and Microsoft divulged plans that will soon allow Galaxy phones to serve as wireless webcams for Windows PCs, boasting advanced camera controls. While details were sparse at the time of the announcement, key information has since been uncovered, shedding light on device compatibility and launch dates.
During CES 2024, Samsung revealed that its “next smartphones” will double as webcams for Windows PCs. Although the specific models weren’t disclosed, it’s likely they referred to the upcoming Galaxy S24 series. Samsung noted that this feature will work with Galaxy smartphones utilizing One UI 1.0 or higher when paired with a Galaxy Book4 laptop using Microsoft’s Phone Link service. While it was initially believed the feature would solely function with the new Galaxy Book4, recent evidence suggests otherwise.
A Reddit user, FragmentedChicken, identified a reference to the new Phone Link webcam feature on the Korean product page for the Galaxy Book4 Pro. The note indicates that this feature will be compatible with “Samsung Galaxy smartphones with One UI 6.0 and higher” and requires a “Samsung Galaxy Book series [device] with One UI 6.0 or higher and Windows 11 24H1 OS.” Although Windows 11 24H1 has yet to be released, Samsung anticipates the service to be available by the end of March 2024, possibly coinciding with the launch of the new Windows OS version.
While Samsung hasn’t yet released a demo of the new Phone Link webcam feature, it is evident that it will function wirelessly. Users will have the ability to switch between the front and rear cameras, pause the video at any point, and apply various camera effects. Background blur and auto framing are confirmed features, with a prior leak hinting at support for additional effects like face retouch, night mode, soft focus, HDR, and stabilization.
Many are hopeful that Samsung and Microsoft’s collaboration will deliver the envisioned Continuity Camera alternative.
✍️1. Which Samsung Galaxy phones will be compatible with the Phone Link webcam feature?✍️
Galaxy phones running on One UI 6.0 or higher are expected to be compatible.
✍️2. What are the requirements for a Windows PC to utilize a Samsung Galaxy phone as a wireless webcam?✍️
The PC should be a Samsung Galaxy Book series device equipped with Windows 11 24H1 OS.
✍️3. When is the Phone Link webcam feature anticipated to be available?✍️
Samsung anticipates the feature to be available by the end of March 2024.
✍️4. What advanced camera controls will be supported by the Phone Link webcam feature?✍️
The feature will offer functions such as background blur, auto framing, face retouch, night mode, soft focus, HDR, and stabilization.
The forthcoming capability for Samsung Galaxy phones to function as wireless webcams for Windows PCs, complete with advanced camera controls, marks an exciting development for users seeking an improved video calling experience. With the feature expected to arrive in March 2024, users can look forward to enhanced video conferencing and streaming possibilities using their Galaxy smartphones and compatible Windows PCs.
By leveraging the advanced camera capabilities of their smartphones, users can enjoy superior video quality and flexibility in tweaking camera settings for various scenarios, making video calls and content creation more engaging and professional. As anticipation builds for the launch of the Phone Link webcam feature, users can prepare to elevate their webcam experience with the seamless integration of Samsung Galaxy phones and Windows PCs.