This week’s obsession came when I decided I wanted to repurpose my recently repaired Samsung Galaxy Note S10+ as an overhead camera for the workbench. Its image sensors vastly outperform any ordinary webcam, including my $200 Razer Kio Pro. The distance from my homemade ceiling mount to the workbench tabletop makes the 2x optical zoom of the Note 10+ a perfect fit. But in all the years I owned this phone, I never realized that only the native Samsung Camera app allowed use of its telephoto lens. All other applications, free or paid, are only able to interface with the front-facing cameras, wide angle and standard 1x back lens.
Unlucky for me but fortunately for everyone with slightly newer models, Samsung finally introduced clean HDMI out with their native Samsung Camera app as part of the One UI 5.0 release. Note 10+ and lower are ineligible for the upgrade. My Note 10+ is currently running One UI 4.1 and Android OS 12 with kernel 4.14, all of which are pretty much end-of-life for the phone beyond security patches.