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Google Camera port with Night Sight hits several HUAWEI smartphones

HUAWEI phones already have Night Mode, but you can now get the Google Camera port with Night Sight too.

Published onDecember 18, 2018

The back of the HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro.
  • A developer has managed to port the Google Camera app with Night Sight to HUAWEI phones.
  • The HUAWEI Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro and HONOR Play are listed as three supported devices.
  • Night Sight uses image stacking and machine learning to produce better low-light shots.

The Google Camera app on Pixel phones is one of the best camera apps around, and it’s been unofficially ported to a wide variety of smartphones over the past year or so.

We’ve also seen a few ports released for HUAWEI’s phones this year, but what if you wanted Google’s Night Sight mode? Well, you were out of luck, until now.

XDA-Developers reports that developer Arnova8G2 has whipped up a Google Camera port for the HONOR Play, HUAWEI Mate 10, and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro. And yes, the version includes Google’s cutting-edge Night Sight mode.

A comparison between the iPhone XS and Google's Night Sight.
A comparison between the iPhone XS and Google’s Night Sight at the Pixel 3 launch event.

Judging from the preliminary list of compatible phones, it looks like this latest port targets devices with the Kirin 970 chipset. XDA readers also reported that the feature works on the likes of the HONOR View 10, but a reader adds that the Kirin 970-toting HUAWEI P20 Pro isn’t compatible.

For what it’s worth, the outlet reports that they couldn’t get the port to work properly on their Mate 10 Pro (running Android Pie). So even if your phone is listed here, you might find that the app doesn’t work or requires plenty of tweaks in order to run.

A new generation of night modes

The Night Sight mode uses smart image stacking along with machine learning to boost brightness in low light scenes. Google isn’t the only company to introduce an advanced night mode, as HUAWEI’s P20 series and Mate 20 range offers an advanced night mode too. We’ve also had similar efforts from OnePlus and Xiaomi in recent months.

We compared Night Sight on the Google Pixel 3 to Night Mode on the Mate 20 Pro. Our own Robert Triggs found that HUAWEI’s mode was better at reducing noise and exposing the entire scene, but left things looking “smudged.” Meanwhile, Rob felt that the Night Sight mode had better detail and a wider range of colors.

Smartphone photography tips: 16 handy tricks you should know
Smartphone photography tips.

In any event, it’s surprising to see how far things have come with the Google Camera ports for Huawei phones. The unofficial Google Camera port originally required a relatively capable Snapdragon chipset. This is because the app leveraged elements like Qualcomm’s Hexagon digital signal processor to speed things up.

We also saw the camera app ported to phones running Samsung’s Exynos chipsets last year, showing that it was indeed possible to run the app on a non-Qualcomm device. Now, with HUAWEI devices firmly in the fray, could we eventually see the camera app ported to MediaTek phones?

Keen to try this port? Then you can simply download it via the button below and sideload it on your phone. Let us know if it works on your HUAWEI phone!

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