Google is testing HDR photography for Camera Go on budget Android Go smartphones

Google is testing HDR photography for Camera Go on budget Android Go smartphones

Google Camera Go is a watered-down version of the Pixel’s Google Camera app. The app was released on the Nokia 1.3, an Android Go smartphone, and we recently went hands-on with the apk to see what the app can do. While the app itself is barebones, what excites us is the sheer potential it has in democratizing the Google Camera experience, extending the camera magic beyond the exclusive Pixel, all the way to the opposite end of the market. And to prove our point, we have now spotted upcoming HDR photography features on Camera Go, which can enable HDR on low-end Android devices.

GCam modders took a go at the Camera Go application to see what else the app is capable of. The modders discovered that the app has a hidden “Detail Enhance” toggle. This toggle enables HDR mode on the app. While the modders managed to surface the setting, toggling it doesn’t do anything just yet.


The three settings within Detail Enhance are Off, Auto, and On. It doesn’t appear that the app is making use of HDR+.

HDR, as its name implies, attempts to add dynamic range to photos. Instead of taking just one photo, HDR uses upwards of three photographs, all taken at different exposures. These images are then combined together to have their best bits highlighted. HDR+ is what Google calls its own proprietary implementation, one that it introduced back with the Nexus 5. HDR+ is available through GCam ports for quite some time, and the tech has been used by the community to really bring up the camera performance in the lower end of the market. Arguably, getting HDR+ to work reliably on an Android Go device may be a pipe dream — but so was Google Camera, and here we are.

If Google does bring along HDR+ to the app, and the app remains easily sideloadable across all Android devices, a lot of phones stand to benefit from the change. Even without HDR+, HDR by itself would be very useful for Android Go Edition devices. Remember, these devices are the absolute entry-level devices within the Android ecosystem, coming in with resource-constraints but at a very pocket-friendly price. For instance, the Nokia 1.3 has a single 8MP camera and a €95 price tag, and Camera Go enables reliable portrait mode on the device. These devices stand to benefit a lot from the improved camera functionality that the app brings along.

Thanks to XDA Senior Member cstark27 for the screenshots!

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

A journalist at XDA-Developers and the current Editor in Chief, I have been writing for XDA since 2015, despite being a qualified business-litigation lawyer. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news and tutorials, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected] And my Twitter is @aamirsidd94.

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