The Google Pixel 2, and the OG Pixel before it, has been hailed as having one of if not the best smartphone cameras in the market. But its real accomplishment is not exactly in the camera hardware but in the software Google has developed to actually make up for the lack in hardware. But because it’s mostly software-based, it’s also a bit easier to extract that magic and make it available for other compatible smartphones. And thus, Google Camera mod Camera NX was born, which now includes the much sought-after bokeh effect to older Google phones.
Camera NX is actually not new and XDA Senior Member Charles_l has been adding more and more Pixel 2 camera features to it over time. It already has Zero Shutter Lag that works with HDR+ mode, 60 fps video recording in 2K and higher, Motion Photos, and even the latest Star Wars and Stranger Things AR Stickers.
His latest treat is the Portrait Mode, a.k.a. bokeh effect, which identifies the photos subject and blurs the background around it. It is an effect that is often best applied using dual cameras, but the Google Pixel 2 proved it can also be done with just one camera and plenty of software smartness.
That same feature is now available for the first Google Pixel, the Nexus 6P, and the Nexus 5X. The one caveat seems to be that you need to actually have a human face in the photo to activate Portrait model Otherwise you only get a normal photo. The APKs won’t be available on Google Play Store, since it would conflict with the Google Camera app. You can always sideload them easily, but the usual disclaimers about installing APKs from unverified sources apply.