For probably 2-3 years now, manufacturers have switched from increasing the computing power of their smartphones to improving their photographic capabilities. As a result, during this time, cameras of modern devices have turned from mainly two-module to four- and even five-module, having acquired an ultra-wide-angle lens, super-zoom and support for macro shooting. Even Google could not stand it and provided its 'pixels' with an additional telephoto lens, while not forgetting about cheap smartphones, albeit in a programmatic sense.
Soon even cheap Android – smartphones will be able to shoot at the 'pixel' level
At the end of March, Google released a special version of the 'Google Camera' app for smartphones based on Android Go. The company's developers left support for portrait mode for one camera, but at the same time removed all other functions – obviously, so that cheap devices would not compete with 'pixels'. However, this turned out to be not entirely true, because apparently Google plans to further develop the 'Google Camera' for Android Go, extending its functionality further and further.
HDR + in Google Camera
HDR + for sharper, richer photos
One of the features coming to Google Camera will be HDR + support. Rather, it is already embedded in the application, but is not yet active, probably because it is being debugged. The fact is that the HDR + mode is very resource intensive. In the original 'Google Camera', which is installed on Google Pixel smartphones, it works on the principle of combining photos: the camera takes 8 consecutive frames, and then stitches them together to get the most detailed and saturated with colors picture. Now the same will most likely appear in Android Go.
Technically, this mode can be implemented on any smartphone. Just because of the weak hardware on devices running Android Go – and they usually have Snapdragon 200-400 series processors and no more than 1 GB of RAM – it will not work to process 8 frames in a row instantly . Therefore, Google needs either a completely new method of combining images, or reducing their number in a series to at least four or five. Otherwise, the creation of one photo in HDR + mode will take quite a long time, making it of little use in practice.
Cheap camera phones for android
On the left is an example of a regular shot, and on the right is HDR +
Be that as it may, Google is firmly committed to equipping its simplified 'Google Camera' with HDR + support, and the day that happens will mark a new milestone in mobile photography. Indeed, until now it was believed that only flagship smartphones are capable of taking high-quality photos, which again began to be called camera phones in order to emphasize their special status. However, Google proved to everyone that the key to a good photo is not so much cool hardware as good software and competent optimization, which are quite available even on inexpensive devices.
If smartphones based on Android Go get new opportunities for photography that will allow them to compete with more expensive devices, many users may change their attitude towards camera phones. It is clear that cheap smartphones will not be able to compete with top-end solutions like Huawei P40 Pro or Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro, however, they can compete with devices from the middle segment. Well, let it be that most of the work on creating a photo is done by automation – an ordinary user does not care about this.