Google’s HDR + for LG smartphones: With this app, wide-angle photos are really good

The porting of Google’s camera app is very popular in the XDA Developer Forum, but so far these ports have only accessed the main camera on dual-camera smartphones. Now there is a special version for LG smartphones that have a wide-angle camera and enriches it with the HDR + mode known from Google Pixel 2.

  • LG V30 in the test: V-Power with LG reality
  • HDR + in all apps: The Pixel 2 camera forces dynamics

The camera app of the Google Pixel 2 offers very interesting features that result in amazing photos. No wonder that numerous programmers have recently used the Google Camera app to port it to other Android smartphones as well. There are now special ports for the HDR + and portrait modes that have been adapted to the different SoCs from Qualcomm and Samsung . All modified camera apps have in common that they only address the main camera. However, if a dual camera was installed in the smartphone, then the second one will not be used.

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HDR + is actually a Pixel 2 exclusive feature, but thanks to porting, LG’s wide-angle camera now also benefits from Google technology / © AndroidPIT

There is now good news for dual-camera smartphones from LG, because the developer cstark27 from the XDA Developer Forum now has the Google Pixel 2 camera app for the wide-angle camera of the LG V30 , V20, G6 and G5 ported. We installed the camera app and compared the quality of the photos with that of the standard camera app from LG with activated HDR. Our video and camera specialist Stefan looked at the pictures and here are his impressions of the pictures:

At the same time, the detail reproduction is significantly improved. This is certainly also due to the fact that the Google app uses a less strong JPEG compression, which almost doubles the file size of the recordings. For example, the structure of the trees in our city panorama can still be clearly seen in the photos taken with HDR +, while the LG V30 only delivers mud here.

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Better skin tones, more details in light and dark areas of the image: HDR + improves the quality enormously. / © AndroidPIT

With photos with high differences in brightness – for example portraits with backlighting – one thing is clearly noticeable: HDR + improves the dynamic range. In our example photo, this ensures that my face appears better illuminated in the photo and that details can still be seen in my dark gray sweater. At the same time, however, the sky is not overexposed, as is the case with the camera app supplied with the LG V30 – the clouds are still clearly visible.

AndroidPIT lg v30 default app vs hdr plus2
At first glance, the difference is not so great for every shot. When zooming in on this photo, however, it becomes clear that LG’s standard app turns the trees into mud, while HDR + still provides fine details here. / © AndroidPIT

The bottom line is the difference is dramatic and shows once again the power of the software. In contrast to the image sensors that almost every manufacturer can buy from Sony, Google keeps its image processing algorithms under lock and key – just like Samsung or Apple. This will make it difficult for smaller manufacturers in the long term to keep up with the industry giants and their gigantic software departments.

The image quality is therefore better, but unfortunately the handling with the app, even if it corresponds to the original from Google, is not ideal. So it is not possible to switch back and forth between the two rear cameras and the app also crashes every now and then. So if you absolutely want to use HDR + on a LG V30, G6 or older, you should only use it as a supplementary app and (not) use it as the only camera app.

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