Older Google smartphones can now shoot in Portrait mode with Camera NX

The Camera NX is a Google camera mod that is said to have brought Pixel 2 rich HDR+ and shutter lag feature to Google's older devices

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  3. Older Google smartphones can now shoot in Portrait mode with Camera NX

Highlights

    • Camera NX is a Google camera mod
    • The app can be installed by sideloading the APK file

Google Pixel 2 Portrait mode is one of the most notable features that makes the new Pixel 2 series best in the smartphone arena. Older Google Pixel devices may now be able to get a taste of this feature with a third-party app called Camera NX. With this app, the original Pixel, Pixel XL and older Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X will be able to shoot in portrait mode.

The Camera NX is a Google camera mod that earlier brought Pixel 2 rich HDR+ and shutter lag feature to Google’s older devices and even to some non-Google smartphones (supposedly). The Camera NX v7.3 has now brought the Pixel 2 ritzy Portrait feature. The Portrait mode basically blurs the background and locks focus on the subject that you choose in the frame.

Notably, the Google’s first-gen Pixel series, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X share a similar 12MP camera unit on the rear side. The Camera NX app reportedly takes portrait shots both from the front and rear cameras. The app developer Charles Chow cites that the Camera NX captures two shots when you enable the Portrait mode-one regular still and another having bokeh effect, similar to what we’ve seen on the Pixel 2 devices. However, the app works only when it recognises a face in the shot.

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The app is not yet available on Google Play Store but you can download the APK and manually install it on your device. We tried installing it on a couple of non-Google smartphones running Android Nougat OS (Redmi Note 4 and Honor Holly 4, to be specific) but an error occurred while installing the app and we couldn’t proceed. If you want to try it for yourself you can check 9to5Google for the APK file. But users should keep in mind that side-loading such APK files from third-party apps can be risky as there is a potential virus threat looming.