Take better pictures on the Samsung Galaxy S10 with a Google Camera port
Despite only having a single rear camera, the Google Pixel 3 is considered by many to still have the best camera on any smartphone. The Google Pixel’s camera prowess is owed in large part to Google’s incredible camera software. The Google Camera app uses Google’s industry leading techniques to deliver incredible HDR and low-light shots. The Google Camera app has been ported by many great developers to a lot of phones out there, and now the latest Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+, and Galaxy S10e can enjoy the port to take better pictures. The port brings the Google Pixel’s Night Sight, HDR+, and Portrait Mode, but even the Galaxy S10’s wide-angle lens can be used with it!
In my view, the port improves the Galaxy S10’s camera quality in some areas, though you may have a better experience than me. When we reviewed Night Sight, Google’s camera mode to take low-light shots, we were blown away. It’s far better than Samsung’s Bright Night mode in scene optimizer. When we asked our readers if they use a Google Camera port, hundreds of users spoke up about their experiences. With the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S10 series, users have been asking for a Google Camera port so they can take better photos. XDA Senior member cstark27 started looking for the right APK and configs specifically for the Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S10 series to make sure you get the best possible pictures from the three phones.
To test Google Camera out, I used my Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S10+ and took a couple of pictures to see how the camera apps compare. The general consensus is that it doesn’t overexpose pictures as much as the Samsung camera app does. Google Camera isn’t as true to life as the Samsung Camera, but it does have much better HDR as the Samsung app has a strong HDR halo effect. I personally still prefer the Samsung camera results based on a good looking picture while others who look more closely at the details of the picture might prefer the Google Camera port.
The pictures above are the same scene, but the one on the left was taken with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ stock camera and the right is with the Google Camera port. The most noticeable thing is the lighting: Google Camera’s picture is darker. On the left in the trees, it is darker but still looks good. On the Samsung camera, it looks truer to life in the grass and trees. Google Camera is also more blue than the Samsung app. The wide-angle picture has almost all of the same problems and advantages, but looks more distorted than the Samsung camera in my view.
In these photos, you can see where the ported app really shines. The port has a lot more detail in the roof of the building and you can see much more of a difference in color in the sky and clouds. Samsung keeps the sky and clouds almost all gray and loses detail in the roof along with the wood around the pharmacy sign. Samsung’s camera also has a lot more aggressive noise reduction than the Google Camera port.
These pictures were taken with their given beauty modes enabled. Samsung has it on by default but I did set Google Camera to the natural mode. As you can clearly see, Samsung’s beauty mode is much stronger. It gives me nearly perfect skin while the Google Camera port kinda just flattens my skin while keeping the details. The colors are a bit darker and deeper from Google Camera but more accurate from the Samsung camera. As for the bokeh part of the pictures, Samsung handles the bokeh a bit better and tracks my hair cleaner while the ported Google Camera is much sharper on the edges of the bokeh blur.
Samsung has a night mode called Bright Night built into the scene optimizer. Hopefully, Samsung will update the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10+ with a night mode just as good as Google’s. In the picture of the yard, you can see that Night Sight shows more detail in the sky and yard while keeping more color. Bright Night is much darker but it’s better than if there was no built-in night mode at all.
Install Google Camera port on the Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, or S10+
This method is for the latest update for the Samsung Galaxy S10 series. There should have been a day one update for the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, and Galaxy S10+. This will require that update if you want the wide-angle to work.
- Download the latest Google Camera APK from cstark27 and Arnova8g2
- Install the APK on your Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S10, Samsung Galaxy S10e, or Samsung Galaxy S10+
- Download the config files for the saved settings.
- Extract the config files to the root storage with the file path /Internal Storage/GCam/Configs/
- Open the app and double tap the black area next to the shutter button.
- Select option s10csMar2.xml
- Select restore
- Enjoy using Google Camera on your Snapdragon Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10e, or Galaxy S10+!
Google Camera is one of the most useful apps for Android and seeing it work so quickly after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S10 series is amazing. Keep an eye out on our forums for updates on the port. This is the first port and config we’ve seen that brings a working Night Sight, HDR+, Portrait Mode, AND wide-angle mode to the Snapdragon Galaxy S10 series. As developers like cstark27 refine their work, we’ll see better ports that improve the camera quality substantially.