With the Pixel 6 and the performance of the new Tensor SoC, Google has given us an intelligent erasing tool. What, according to Google, only works exclusively on the latest pixels, has been around for a long time at Samsung and in professional image editing programs. TechMarkup lets Pixel 6 Magic Eraser mode compete against Samsung and Adobe Photoshop!
In the Pixel 6, Google is continuing its course in the direction of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The search giant has even developed its own SoC called “Tensor” for this purpose. The result is said to be an optimized performance that makes certain features Pixel 6 exclusive. Among other things, there is a magic eraser tool in the “Google Photos” app to automatically delete unwanted image elements.
The challenge of manually deleting image errors and disruptive elements is that you have to carefully reconstruct what was in the background of the image. Algorithms do this more or less well, and we have known that not only since the Pixel 6. Because Samsung offers an identical feature in the “Labs” area of its gallery app – and Adobe Photoshop has two intelligent erasers. I let the three “magic erasers” compete against each other!
Example 1: picture from the wall
Not all examples are what Google would like the perfect scenario to be. Because the company emphasizes that you can remove disruptive elements from the background. In the following example, the interfering element is in the foreground, but translation shouldn’t be too difficult. The area to be replaced is monochrome and only softens a slight gradient in brightness.
Adobe’s tool takes first place here and therefore receives three points. This is followed by Google with two points and Samsung lands in last place! So there’s only one point for Samsung, who has left quite a bit of the picture.
Example 2: Zois freezes and magic erasers have to fix it
In the next picture, I was disturbed by the intentionally placed fan in the background of Zois. The background is also monochrome here, but the disturbing object is a little more complex. Since I took the pictures in portrait mode, the fan is a little blurry.
Again, Adobe did the best job here in my eyes. The fan has completely disappeared and the shading is best matched to the wall. The fan is also gone on Google, but there are nasty artifacts here. Samsung has left something and therefore only gets one point again. Adobe three, Google two and Zois work up a sweat!
Example 3: More complex background in front of the door
Why is there a garbage bag in front of the entrance? Anyway, it bothered me a lot with my picture of Camila, so I put it away digitally. There’s finally a winner here other than Photoshop!
Because Pixel 6 Magic Eraser mode erased the best here. The garbage bag is completely gone and the background has been reconstructed quite well. The picture is exciting because you can see how Adobe works. Because Photoshop simply looks for another picture element and tries to intelligently place it over the background. Google gets three points, Samsung two and Adobe only one.
Example 4: Camila has the lights on!
My fourth example would be easy to replace on the computer with the copier stamp. Because the background is completely monochrome and you just have to brush over it quickly. As you would expect, the results are really good overall!
The clear winner is Adobe with its “copy-and-paste strategy”! Here you can really see nothing more of the lamp. Shades can still be seen on Google and Samsung. The two functions are roughly the same here, so I assign the same number of points to each. Adobe gets three points, Samsung and Google two each.
Example 5: Simply magic away annoying e-scooters
With the next experiment, I am fulfilling the wish of many Berliners! Because I had one of the annoying e-scooters that spoil the cityscape erased. Again the portrait mode was active.
Adobe emerges as the winner again! Here you can neither see a shadow nor image errors, nor is there anything to see from the scooter. Since Google created the most artifacts and hit the windowsill a bit, Google lands in last place. Samsung gets two points, Google one and Adobe three again.
Example 6: Can I delete my (fictional) ex-girlfriend from pictures?
The question that we must have all asked ourselves during Google’s presentation: Can I finally delete the ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend from the holiday pictures we shared? This task is a mammoth project, especially when it comes to sharing photos. Because there is a lot that needs to be reconstructed here. And not just a failed relationship! For the test, Camila and I recreated such a picture.
Samsung’s result here is more painful than any memory! Google thinks up a good replacement for the picture in the background, but makes a mess with my jacket. And Adobe copied the edge of my hat several times onto my sleeve. All unusable, but Samsung especially. Hence there are two points for Google and Adobe and only one for Samsung.
Example 7: Tidying up important Berlin sights
The Berlin Wall Monument near the TechMarkup office is intended to be a monument to the Berlin Wall! Unfortunately, this is not always treated with respect and there was a mask in the grass in front of it. Will the cell phones and the computer program manage to iron out this impurity?
Here I would declare Samsung the overall winner for the first time! The Galaxy S21 Ultra was able to reproduce the lawn most realistically and also simulated the darkness of the grass. Adobe could do that a little less well and on Google you can clearly see a dark block where the mask was previously. Samsung gets three points, Adobe two points and Google gets one point!
Example 8: Hardness test with helmet in the grass
In the last example I placed a very high-contrast motif in the grass. It takes up a lot of space in the picture. So let’s see again how well it could be replaced.
Google has designed a nice turf hill here, but you can still see the outlines very clearly. Samsung made a nice painting, but it doesn’t look like an eraser. Only Adobe was able to convince her and even very well. So there are three points for Adobe and only one each for Google and Samsung.
Example 9: Do I become a ghost through the eraser?
Another acid test that I personally found just funny. Can I also erase myself with the Pixel 6 Magic Eraser mode? A mirror selfie is the basis here and we’ll see if I’m still there!
Well thank goodness I can still be seen in every picture. There is really hardly any reference point for the algorithms of the three programs. Accordingly, the results are also catastrophic in the end. I give all three points a consolation point!
Conclusion: professional tools have the edge!
For my evaluation, I added up the points of all three opponents. The distribution looks like this:
- Adobe with 21 points
- Google with 15 points
- Samsung with 14 points
A close race between the two smartphones, Adobe made both look pretty old for that. It should be urgently mentioned that Samsung’s feature is still in the beta version. I’m really impressed here, as Google is known for its camera software and computational photography. Google’s feature disappoints me a little – the results looked a lot more impressive in the product videos.
Especially since we at Adobe decided on the tool, which is closest to Google and Samsung in terms of handling. There is another “Content Aware Fill” tool that gives you a little more control. With that we could have avoided mistakes like the pant leg inserted in the leaf bag picture. This is where Adobe really flexes its muscles.
However, Google needs data for good results and the company likes to gain this from its customers. It remains to be seen whether Google can continue to train its artificial intelligence in the future. Do you want to know how the image quality of the two phones differs in detail? Then take part in our camera blind test or take a look at the results while reading it later.
What do you think about Pixel 6 Magic Eraser mode? Let us know in comments