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We asked, you told us: You value an astrophotography mode on your phone

It turns out that many polled readers think it's important or nice to have.
By
April 20, 2022
Google Pixel 6 Pro back camera bump close-up with red plants in the background
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Google was the first smartphone manufacturer to offer an astrophotography mode, doing so with 2019’s Pixel 4 series. The mode allows you to take photos of the night sky, including stars, light trails from planes and satellites, and even the Milky Way.

Astrophotography modes are now available on phones from the likes of Realme, Vivo, and Xiaomi, and I detailed my love for the mode in an opinion piece earlier this month. We also posted a poll inside the article asking how important an astrophotography mode is to you. Here’s how you voted.

How important is an astrophotography mode to you?

Results

Google Pixel 4 astrophotography mode silhouette
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Over 1,000 votes were tallied in this poll, and it turns out that 41% of respondents say an astrophotography mode is one of several must-have features. This was the most popular option, while the “nice to have but not a must” camp was in second place and accounted for ~38% of the vote.

Meanwhile, ~16% of polled readers said they don’t buy a smartphone without an astrophotography mode. This suggests that companies like Samsung, Apple, and OnePlus are losing out in some capacity by not including the feature, although we’re guessing the number of phones going unsold is negligible at worst.

More reading: How Google’s astrophotography mode works, plus tips and tricks

Finally, just under 5% of respondents say they don’t care about the mode at all. We can understand this stance, as you need a tripod, an area with reduced light pollution, and several minutes for each shot. By contrast, other camera modes like Single Take and night mode are more seamless and versatile.

Either way, we’d be keen to see the results of this poll among typical (i.e. non-techie) consumers, as we’re guessing our poll and opinion piece attracted some fans of astrophotography modes to begin with.

Comments

  • mauricio chacon: Yes you can get amazing shoots with a pixel and a far place with no moon
  • Carlos: Yes, but, today the best option is get a DSLR Pentax with Astrotracer mode such as the K-70 or K-1.
  • Tevis C: The astrophotography mode in the pixel 4a is not that great when compared to 4 minutes of 10 second exposures stacked in sequator. The camera app also doesn’t store a raw of the stack, so post processing in Lightroom, a diy astro shot will have much better results. The stacking method also greatly improves daytime photography as well.
  • AS: I’d much prefer this than extra selfie modes and AR overlays. I’m still annoyed the extra sensors like project tango depth cameras didn’t become a standard fit on android phones. 7 years later, apple ‘invented’ it.