Install Google Camera with HDR+ on Snapdragon (820, 821, 835) Powered Android Devices

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The Google Camera app was not an instant hit among even Android enthusiasts. On the contrary, it was the one thing nobody likes about the Nexus 5. But a couple of Nexus flagships later, Google has turned the tables upside down with its Pixel smartphones. Google Pixel and Pixel XL are Google’s efforts towards the consumer market and are hence more consumer focused. Therefore, so is the new Google Camera app that ships inside the devices. You will hardly find anyone complaining about the camera quality on the Google Pixel. Apart from the excellent hardware, much of that is thanks to the exclusive (until now) HDR+ technology added by Google. And it showed with the smartphones receiving top tier scores from DxOMark. Because if you have an Android device powered by a Snapdragon 820, 821 or 835, you can now take advantage of Google Camera’s HDR+ processing too.

HDR+ allows the average user an easy way to capture stunning photos with their smartphone cameras. A user doesn’t need to worry about learning to use manual photography or editing RAW images. A Ukrainian developer who goes by the name of B-S-G on the forum 4PDA, was able to port a working Google Camera APK with HDR+ processing onto devices with the Hexagon 680 ISP (found on the Snapdragon 820, 821, and 835 SoCs). Google Camera is no stranger to being modded or ported and this certainly isn’t the first Google Camera port to appear. However, this is the first time a port has brought the HDR+ from the Google Pixel’s camera to other devices.

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Furthermore, Google Camera app is the same one that was pulled from the Android O developer preview released in June this year with a version number 4.4.012.156195200. The developer confirms the port to be working on a Xiaomi Mi 5s.   from XDA Developers was able to successfully test the camera port on LG G6, OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S8. Here are some shots he posted with without HDR+ and with HDR+ using his OnePlus 5.

Sample shots

Install Google Camera With HDR+

Luckily, this Google Camera port does not require any root privileges nor does it needs to be flashed via a recovery. The port is simply in the form of an APK that you can install on any Android, with or without root and a custom recovery. In order to install the APK, you must first enable Unknown sources under Settings > Security. Download the APK from the link provided below and then tap on the download complete notification to install the APK.

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Keep in mind though that the port is only a beta version, meaning it could potentially have some minor bugs. A major known bug here is that the front camera does not work without flash. The developer has confirmed that he is currently working on a fix. Thereafter, he also contemplates the idea of working on the app to improve the HDR+ results further.