Google's Portrait Mode has been ported to most Android phones, including Samsung Galaxies with Exynos processors

Google's Portrait Mode has been ported to most Android phones, including Samsung Galaxies with Exynos processors
While everyone out there is busy simulating large camera apertures and shallow depth of field by using two cameras and some crazy algorithms, Google did what it does best when it released the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL and doubled down on the crazy algorithms, sans the multi-camera modules. Essentially, Google brought Portrait Mode to its phones without the need for a second sensor — it just uses machine learning to split and analyze the data from the sensor of its primary camera.

Now, if you own a phone with a single main camera, like the Galaxy S7 or S8, or if you have one of LG's fisheye-bearing handsets, you may be wondering “Hey! Can't I have that?”.

Well, Google won't officially be giving away what makes its Pixel phones special. And that's fine. But hey, Android is an open platform, so developers got to porting the Google Camera app from the Pixel 2s to the rest of Android folks around the globe. And lookie here — they made it!

XDA Developers user “miniuser123” has just shared their latest build of the Google Camera app, which allows users to enable the Google Portrait mode on their random Android phone. Sounds cool, right? The app has been in development for a while and has so far not been able to run on Exynos-equipped Samsung Galaxy flagships (all non-US models have Exynos chips). Now, it is finally available to those poor souls as well!

To get it to work, you need to download the .apk installation package (link below), put it on your phone and install the app. We feel obliged to tell you that by doing this, you are taking a bit of a risk — the app has not passed any Play Store security checks and you are basically trusting the XDA Developers community. That said, the install is pretty easy... just download the file, click on it, and select "allow installation from 3rd party sources" when the phone prompts you.

Once the app is on your phone, you need to open its Settings, go inside B-S-G Mod Settings and choose Nexus 6 as your phone model. Then, enable “Portrait mode on all models”. Head back to the Settings menu and scroll down to the Developer Settings sub-menu. Here, disable camera.af.debug.show and enable camera.faceboxes.

We tested this on a Galaxy S7 edge (Exynos), Galaxy S8+ (Exynos), LG G6 (Snapdragon 821), and it worked on all of them. The Portrait Mode is not available for the selfie camera, mind you. Once you take a Portrait shot, it will be saved on your phone as a set of Burst shots — one will have the artificial bokeh effect and the other one will not. The HDR+ mode also works pretty well, but keep in mind that everything is a bit slower than you might like it. Hey, it's experimental software. For more information, visit the forum link below.

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22 Comments

1. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Okay. I this works on OP3...the apk before this one didn't. I'm going to see if the HDR+ is also good

12. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Edit: The image is good so far. Compared to my Oneplus 3, the app has more bells and whistles and has some readings going down near the shutter button which is annoying. You will need to dive in settings and click portrait mode on. By default it's off. The only thing not working is the slow mo video, it crashes as soon as I tap that option.

2. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What settings should be used to get it to work on the exynos version of the Note 8?

10. paul.k

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Should work with the same settings. But the Note 8 already has it's own Portrait Mode, so... why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

11. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4766; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Haha...maybe he just wants to see how it compares to Samsung's very own.

13. maherk

Posts: 6640; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Because I hate the fact that it uses the telephoto lens to achieve the effect, plus I already compared the results when I had the app installed on the Essential Phone I had to my nephew's Note 8, and the GC Portrait mode was superior in terms of colors and blur. Btw, it didn't work at all with the apk you posted, but I found one someone posted in that XDA thread that worked really well.

3. usashy97

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 30, 2012

You can't call Exynos users as "poor souls". They spare the same cash as SD users. Samsung doesn't price the variants different from one another. Stop looking at Exynos powered devices as inferior to SD.

4. Clars123

Posts: 1072; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

it's not that deep mate..

5. Lyngdoh

Posts: 319; Member since: Sep 06, 2012

You clearly need to use Google and search for the word 'Metaphor'

6. Settings

Posts: 2942; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

The link is now broken.

8. paul.k

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Just tested it again, still works here. Maybe it was a momentary drop?

7. redmd

Posts: 1872; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

So how's the image quality?

9. paul.k

Posts: 282; Member since: Jul 17, 2014

Pretty good

14. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

Yeah, I tried it on V30, it "works", but it's still useless gimmick IMHO. HDR+ on the other hand, that is pretty impressive.

20. rsiders

Posts: 1811; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I take it you don't have kids? Just guessing and I could be wrong. Portrait mode is perfect for kids and sharing those moments. I too thought it was a gimmick but last year's crop of flagships have really brought out the potential of this mode IMO.

22. japkoslav

Posts: 1253; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

I have two kids, but still I don't see a point in portrait mode.

15. rsiders

Posts: 1811; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

If this works on the V20 I may never upgrade.lol The first port already did wonders for auto shots in HDR+.Cant wait to give this a go.

18. hurrycanger

Posts: 1751; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

Love it on my V20 cuz of the brightness slider. The V20 app doesn't have that which sucks, lol. Can't get portrait mode to work on mine but note sure if it's because of the lack of dual pixel or what. I'm interested in how this app works out for you. Edit: portrait mode works for me now. XD

19. rsiders

Posts: 1811; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Wow. It indeed does work. This is so cool. I get to have all my manual mode goodness AND Googles software processing. I'll never get another phone.lol But I will probably keep my V20 and add the Pixel 3 this fall. Amazing how they pulled this off yet OEMs can't seem to deliver these features. Gotta love the freedom of Android.

16. josephnero

Posts: 773; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

I trust XDA more than Google lol

17. Tech-shake

Posts: 202; Member since: Nov 14, 2016

When everyday developers can achieve more with code than big companies, then there is something wrong with big companies.

21. theunspoken

Posts: 310; Member since: Jul 06, 2017

The blur effect could have been more pronounced .

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