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Essential Phone gets another major camera update, adds Auto-HDR mode

Essential has started rolling out another camera update that addresses HDR performance.

Published onFebruary 9, 2018

Things haven’t always gone smoothly for Essential since it entered the smartphone market, but there’s no doubting the quality of its debut product, the Essential Phone (PH-1). Be it hardware or software, the Essential Phone has delivered in almost every department.

I say almost because Andy Rubin’s start-up fluffed one key feature: the camera. In our review, we found that the Essential Phone’s photography suite delivered a decidedly average experience, but since then, Essential has doubled down on the camera with key software updates.

Essential Phone review: Maximum hardware, minimum software

Now, Essential has started rolling out another camera update that addresses High Dynamic Range (HDR) functionality and performance.

The new update, which bumps the Essential Camera up to version, also includes various general stability fixes.

We just released an update to Essential Camera App that adds Auto-HDR, a new HDR algorithm that improves camera performance and scene rendering, dynamic HDR and Flash indicators, and various stability fixes. Download it here:
— Essential (@essential) February 8, 2018

The primary addition is an Auto-HDR mode, which has been sorely lacking since launch. As the name suggests, Essential Phone users won’t have to manually flip a toggle to take HDR shots, with the new mode recognizing optimum conditions automatically.

Essential also talked up its “new HDR algorithm” in a tweet, which it says will improve overall performance and scene rendering when taking HDR-enabled photos. Dynamic HDR and flash indicators have also been added specifically for Auto-HDR mode.

Essential Phone users on Reddit are already reporting that capture speed has enjoyed a noticeable upgrade, and many are praising Essential for both the inclusion and performance of Auto-HDR, as well as the company’s general commitment to delivering updates post-launch.

PH-1 users can give the update a spin via the button below. Be sure to let us know how you get on with the new mode in the comments below.

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