Essential Phone’s Camera App Updated with Automatic HDR Mode

Essential Phone’s Camera App Updated with Automatic HDR Mode

Ever since Andy Rubin-backed startup Essential unveiled the Essential Phone to the world, it’s been making headlines for all sorts of reasons. Rubin, who played an instrumental role in Android’s development, heavily promoted it. Its slim bezels got a lot of attention, as did Essential’s promise of deep integration with third-party smart home platforms. When reviewers got the device in their hands they generally had a lot of good things to say about it, but its camera received a lot of criticism. Luckily, the folks at Essential have been working to improve the phone’s camera performance, and the latest update adds automatic HDR mode.

On Thursday, the Essential team announced an update for the Essential Phone’s camera application that adds an Auto-HDR mode, a new HDR algorithm to improve the camera performance, dynamic HDR, flash indicators, and a number of stability fixes.

It’s the latest in a string of camera-focused upgrades: In October 2017, Essential rolled out an update that improved the camera’s capture speed, low light performance, and more. A month later, the camera application was updated to allow for 60FPS monochrome video recordings. And the following month, another update added portrait mode and reduced compression to improve the image quality.

The Essential Phone’s camera performance has almost become a running gag due to how polished the rest of the device feels. It’s solid in the hand thanks to the unibody titanium design, and the iPhone X-like cutout on the top of the screen, which initially generated controversy, results in an incredibly immersive experience.

Ultimately, though, camera performance can make or break a smartphone’s reputation. It’s why Google bragged about the Google Pixel 2 topping DxOMark’s rankings, and why Samsung’s recent press invite for the Galaxy S9 puts an emphasis on the upcoming phones’ cameras.

The update is available now from the Google Play Store. If you’re still not happy with the results, there’s always the Google Camera port .

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