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Google brings night mode to entry-level phones through Android Go

HDR photos are coming soon as well.

Published onOctober 5, 2020

  • Google has brought a Night Mode to the camera app on Android Go.
  • It won’t match Night Sight, but it could improve particularly dark images.
  • HDR photos are coming soon.

Sure, Google makes low-light photography a staple of its Pixel phones, but what about more affordable phones? Don’t worry, you’re covered. Google has started rolling out a Night Mode in the Camera Go app on Android Go to improve picture quality on lower-cost phones without relying on flash.

This isn’t the Pixel’s Night Sight, to be clear. You won’t forget that you’re using a budget phone lacking in some of Google’s AI wizardry. It works through capturing a burst of photos at different exposures and merging them into a single result, much like the night modes on many devices. However, the camera app for Android Go achieves its feat on low-end hardware  through an app optimized for specific camera modules.

That hardware focus limits just where you’ll find the feature, at least initially. Google is first making Night Mode available on Android Go for the Nokia 1.3, Wiko Y61, and Wiko Y81. You’ll have to wait a while to see an upgraded camera app on other Android Go models.

See also: The best budget camera phones

Whatever device you have, there are promises of more features soon. Google has teased that Camera Go will support HDR photography through an update arriving later in the fall. For some, that might be the larger update. HDR can improve the quality of photos across a wide range of scenarios, not just the nighttime — it won’t completely make up for a so-so camera sensor, but it might close the gap if your phone tends to take poorly exposed pictures.