Don't use images taken from vastly more capable photography equipment and try to pass them off as phone camera samples — it's a pretty simple rule, yet Samsung just can't seem to get the hang of it. Earlier this year, its Brazilian marketing department tried to fool potential Galaxy A8 buyers with stock photography in lieu of actual samples, and now it's happened again.
The Korean tech giant got busted last time when someone spotted a couple of photos from Getty Images that were used as sample selfies. It's a similar story this time around, with the original photographer discovering her handiwork on Samsung's Malaysian site. Dunja Djudjic then posted on her blog DIYPhotography to call the company out for not learning its lesson.
Djudjic uploaded her photos, taken with her powerful DSLR, to EyeEm and they were subsequently made available through its partner Getty. For a bit of fun, Djudjic did a reverse image search on Google to see if they had been used anywhere and then found Samsung presenting them as though they'd been taken by the Galaxy A8 Star variant.
As you can see from the images above, Samsung uses two versions of the image to illustrate the portrait mode blur variance. Djudjic's original photo (below) has a different background altogether, so the image has been heavily doctored with the subject cut out and used on a background of Samsung's choice.
You might think Samsung would be careful enough to admit this in the small print, but I found only the following disclaimer: "The contents within the screen are simulated images and are for demonstration purposes only." That refers to on-screen visuals only, with no mention of images presented as photo samples. There are other images on the page that I would bet are also stock images.
Samsung isn't the only OEM to get into hot water for this type of deception — Huawei got found out in hilarious circumstances earlier this year — and they probably won't be the last. All we can do is call them out in the hope that they'll be more honest with customers in the future.
Samsung has changed the wording on one of the two disclaimers on the site, but they forgot to change the main one at the very bottom of the page. See the two different versions below:
Old — "The contents within the screen are simulated images and are for demonstration purposes only."
New — "The contents within the screen and images are simulated for illustrative purposes only."