Have you just purchased a new budget / mid-tier Android phone? You may notice a watermark on all the pictures you take with the camera. To turn that feature off.
I never realized how big of a problem it was before I started reviewing a ton of budget blowers. That best budget smartphones comes out mostly undamaged, but many affordable phones feel the need to tell you that the picture you just took was actually on your new phone.
It annoys me just as much as you. Scroll to the end if you want to see how I intend to respond to this strange trend in my reviews, but in the meantime, let’s be helpful with a simple guide on how to turn them off.
How to turn off watermarks on your Android phone’s photos
For virtually all Android phones that commit this cardinal sin, the steps are identical.
- Open the camera app
- Touch the camera settings
- Locate the watermark switch and turn it off
The settings are either present as a gear icon on the camera’s viewfinder screen or behind a three-line expandable (aka Hamburger) menu. Once inside, the location of the watermark setting will vary for different phones, which I will highlight below for manufacturers I have tested.
On cheaper Realme phones, you will find the watermark switch within the first 5 options in the camera settings – directly accessed from the camera app.
RedMagic’s watermark capability is about 60% of the way down in the camera settings, with the additional settings in the expandable menu in the upper right corner of the camera’s viewfinder.
For Black Shark, there is a setting gear at the top, and the watermark switch can be found at the bottom of the list of additional settings.
Updating how I review phones: A warning to OEMs
This problem is so prevalent that I have been forced to write a guide about it. The question is obvious to the guilty brands: What benefit do you actually get by leaving branded brands on by default?
At its best, you catch ordinary consumers unknowingly and get further promotion of your phone’s camera system on someone else’s Facebook feed. But at its worst, you piss people off, and even though most of us fellow geeks already know where the setting is to turn it off, we’re a relatively small niche.
Most people do not know how to turn them off, which means there are millions of precious moments that are ruined with “SHOT ON * INSERT PHONE HERE *” adorned in the picture. So instead of accepting this status quo, I want to change how I review phones and issue a warning to people like Xiaomi’s many subsidiaries and Realme.
I have started to include this feature in my reviews. If I see a phone watermark turned on by default, I subtract half a star. So far, RedMagic and Black Shark 4 Pro have called my bluff and see what happened to them? A rating deduction that prevented RedMagic 7 Pro from receiving an Editor’s Choice Award! Hopefully I can create enough of a stench to get people to pay attention.