One of the best features of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, the camera's Portrait Mode, is now unofficially available to all other non-Google smartphones that are powered by Android 8.0 Oreo.
The APK that enables the feature, however, is still a work in progress, so Android device owners should try it out at their own risk.
Pixel 2 Portrait Mode APK Availability Expands
Earlier this week, XDA Developers senior member Charles_I, who is known for his work on Google Camera software, released a Portrait Mode APK named Camera NX that brought the popular camera mode to the original Pixel, the Nexus 5X, and the Nexus 6P.
Just a few days later, other members of the XDA Developers community were able to get Camera NX working on non-Google smartphones that are powered by Android 8.0 Oreo, after adjustments to the APK were made by another senior member, Arnova8G2.
Examples of smartphones that have successfully installed Camera NX to gain access to the Pixel 2 Portrait Mode are the Xiaomi Mi 5, Xiaomi Mi 5s, OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, and Motorola Moto G5S Plus. The APK even worked on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which was running a leaked build of Android 8.0 Oreo.
One difference between the Pixel 2 Portrait Mode and the Portrait Mode enabled by Camera NX, however, is that the original Portrait Mode only needs to take one picture, but Camera NX takes several pictures and combines them. In addition, Camera NX requires a human face as a subject, while the original Portrait Mode also works with objects.
What Makes The Pixel 2 Portrait Mode So Popular?
The Portrait Mode of the Pixel 2's camera gives pictures a more professional look by blurring the background of the subject through a synthetic shallow depth of field effect.
The popular camera mode is the continuation of Google's work on imaging and HDR algorithms, boosting the capabilities of the basic lenses found in the Pixel 2.
With the work to expand the availability of Portrait Mode, the camera mode may become even more popular once it is used on other Android smartphones with better lenses.
The Best Smartphones Of 2017
Despite its amazing camera, the Google Pixel 2 did not make the cut in Tech Times' Best Smartphones of 2017 list, particularly due to the myriad of complaints that customers have lodged against the Pixel 2 XL.
At the top of the list was the OnePlus 5T, which features premium-tier specifications but at about half the price of most flagship smartphones in the market.