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Essential Phone’s subpar camera gets better with portrait mode

by Justin Herrick | November 30, 2017November 30, 2017 8:00 am PDT

Essential’s dealing with a lot right now. Barely anyone is buying the Essential Phone, and multiple retailers are slashing its price dramatically during the holidays. On top of that, Andy Rubin abruptly took a leave of absence amid misconduct allegations. But, for the company’s current employees, it’s business as usual. Everyone is still working as if the sky isn’t falling.

An update for the Camera app was recently released, and it adds a feature that’s become common for all flagships. The Essential Phone now has its own portrait mode.

On Twitter, Essential announced a couple of new features for its rear camera. The additions include a portrait mode, added exposure compensation, reduced JPEG compression, and stability fixes. The latter three will help improve overall image quality, but it’s portrait mode deserving the most attention. Many other 2017 flagships ship with a portrait mode, and people were left disappointed when it was missing from the Essential Phone. The company, though, kept its promise and brought the feature to its only product months later.

Portrait mode on the Essential Phone isn’t different from what you get elsewhere. The allows you to take a picture and have an object focused on with a light blur around it.

If you own an Essential Phone, just head over over to the Play Store and update the Camera app. Essential pushed the enhancements for its camera through an app update rather than an entire system update. The simpler methods it’ll take less than two minutes or so to get better image quality and the portrait mode.

And, despite its various struggles since debuting in mid-2017, Essential continues to say a second phone will be released next year.

Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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