How-To: Get the Google Pixel Camera’s HDR+ on Your Android Device


A Ukrainian developer over at 4PDA has ported one of the Google Pixel’s most raved about features to more devices. By modifying the Google Camera app that comes pre-installed on Pixel and Nexus devices, he was able to enable the same HDR+ technology owners of the Pixel and Pixel XL have relied on to take better photos. The app is the same version that was released with the third Android O developer preview and it works on any device that supports the Hexagon 680 ISP, or devices with a Snapdragon 820, 821, or 835.

Not only is getting HDR+ to work impressive, but it must’ve also been a difficult feat to get the actual Gogoel Camera app to work on non-Google hardware as the company is very stingy when it comes to sharing this application outside of their own devices. In fact, we haven’t seen a notable update to the Google Camera for third-party devices on the Play Store since 2015, so this definitely says a lot in terms of how much B-S-G (as he’s known as) had to work.

We successfully installed the APK on our LG V20 with Android Nougat, and are happy to report the feature is in full-working order. Sure, it takes an extra second or two for the HDR+ technology to process, but once it does, you won’t wanna go back to using your phone’s main camera app. It just makes every photo you take that much better, and to prove it are a few sample photos we took that can be seen below.

The task of getting HDR+ to work on non-Pixel phones was difficult, and XDA-Developers has more on that if you’re interested alongside an interview with the developer. But essentially, just download this APK to your compatible phone, install it, and enjoy what has gracefully been given to the world: the lack of requirement to buy a Pixel to enjoy its camera software benefits.

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