There are absolute fans of the Google Pixel’s camera, which uses some complex software to take its fantastic HDR photos. It’s photographic prowess comes from its software and it’s particularly good at high dynamic range of photos thanks to HDR+ mode, which fills in gobs of detail while reducing the blur you sometimes see in HDR shots. With the trick today hands on, definitely won’t need anyone switch phones to get improved HDR photos like Google Pixel camera system.
You do not need to buy a Pixel phone to see the benefit, so if you’re willing to live life on the edge. Developer B-S-G has modified the Google Camera app to enable HDR+ on any recent Android phone to work with a Snapdragon 820, 821, or 835 processor. Found a way to port that software (ported-hexagon-680-processor) to any device that uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC, so users can take their own HDR+ pictures without the Google Pixel.
Here’s that hacked version of Google Camera, which brings the HDR+ image processing to any device with a SD920/821/835 processor. Modified everything, and it works with all the legendary Android devices such as an LG G6, a OnePlus 3, a OnePlus 3T, a OnePlus 5, and a Samsung Galaxy S8 – and found some real improvements with the resulting images.
But wait! Your Galaxy S8 or OnePlus 3 won’t perfectly mirror the Google Pixel’s photo quality, though this could lead to improvements when taking photos in situations with bright highlights or dark shadows — especially if your photo’s default image processing is mediocre. XDA has verified that the modified software works, so it’s not just a bold claim.
XDA writer Adam Conway reports that he tested the revised app on a variety of devices, as well as looking forward at the code to make sure that there won’t anything malicious in it, and proclaimed it safe to install. References they found to Muskie (a rumored Pixel device that appears to have been shelved) Pixel XL 2, which leads them to suspect that the modifications are tricking the app into thinking that it’s running on the Google Pixel’s successor.
At this stage, the software is still in a rough state. So you might not want to install it if you depend on Google Camera for your snapshots. No surprise if the mod is relatively short-lived given that fact that it’s not exactly Google-approved.
Unofficial upgrade? Still, this along with previous mods such as a high-speed shutter mod for Nexus phones shown that the Pixel’s camera hack could theoretically help any Android phone, not just those with a “G” on the back.
The cool improvement to be noted is that the software in the Google Pixel is specifically tailored for the camera hardware in the device, which isn’t going to give you a perfect Pixel camera, but nevertheless, it does look as though it can put Google’s software to work for your images if you don’t have one.
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