In a smartphone market where photography has been king for a few years already, entry-level phones have been left behind in the dust of more expensive devices. Manufacturers may sugarcoat words about their amazing 8 megapixel cameras but even the Google Pixel’s 12 megapixel main shooter fares far better because digital photography isn’t just about pixel counts. Fortunately, Google is coming to the rescue of Android Go phones to give them a taste of some premium camera features, thanks, of course, to some software magic.
When the first Google Pixel launched, it was almost unimaginable how its single camera would compete against dual or even triple camera systems of its rivals. Thanks to software ingenuity and Google’s favorite AI and machine learning special sauces, however, it even managed to win the hearts of serious mobile photographers, especially with its capabilities at night.
Google is bringing a pinch of that capability to the Camera Go app running on some Android Go phones. It’s a rather simplistic version of the Pixel’s Night Sight and doesn’t completely use the same AI that these budgets phones are incapable of. Instead, it simply takes a set of successive photos with different exposures and stitches them into a single, brighter image, pretty much like any other Night Mode feature out there.
What makes this special is that Google is able to pull this off even on extremely resource-constrained phones. That was made possible by closely integrating the software with the hardware which, in turn, unfortunately, means it is limited to only specific camera modules. As of this announcement, only the Nokia 1.3 and Wiko’s Y61 and Y81 are supported.
Google is also teasing that HDR mode will be coming to the Camera Go app soon. It uses the same basic principles as Night Mode but applies to a wider range of lighting situations. Chances are, the feature might be limited to a number of Android Go phones as well.