Essential Phone Camera Updated with Portrait Mode and More
Essential Products ran into a few organizational setbacks following the launch of its first product, the Essential Phone, but fared better than might have been expected. Reviews for the $700 Essential Phone praised its titanium unibody, magnetic accessory system, and nearly bone-stock, bloat-free flavor of Android. But there was consistent criticism of the camera, which many found lacking compared to comparably-priced phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus. The Essential team, undeterred, has been rolling out camera application updates to address those complaints, and on Friday added a portrait shooting mode, reduced compression, and more.
The improvements, which are available directly from the Play Store, follow on the heels of a larger update in October and early November. It increased the capture speed of videos and photos, enhanced low-light performance, added support for 60 frames per second (FPS) monochrome video, improved video stability, and tweaked the user interface (UI).
Early on, the Essential Phone’s camera wasn’t in great shape — some users went so far as to suggest using an unofficial port of the Google Camera HDR+ application from Google’s Nexus and Pixel smartphones. But over the last three months, the Essential team has made substantial inroads, with each camera update making measurable progress.
It’s unlikely that all of the Essential Phone camera’s problems can be rectified through software, but the startup’s doing its best to fix what it can, and that’s great to see.