Other devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, S8/S8+, OnePlus 5T, and even the Essential Phone, include comparable bokeh functionality, leaving older devices — even last year’s Pixel smartphones — out of the camera bokeh fun.
The mod comes from Charles Chow, a well-known modder in the Android community. He released modified versions of Google’s ARCore augmented reality Stickers for the Nexus 6P and 5X, despite the fact that that the official version of the AR stickers are only available on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. Similar to the official Portrait Mode, taking a photo with Chow’s feature produces two images: one HDR+ photo and an additional image with the portrait effect.
“Portrait mode was the most wanted feature for Nexus and Pixel 2016 users. I have considered that Portrait mode is a hardware limiting feature. It requires a special type of image data called PD (Pixel detector?) to enable Portrait mode, but some said Portrait mode can be active with front camera. I began to thinking that this feature should be able to work in software way which we can force to enable it on other phones. Turns out, Google uses PD data to calculate portrait effect on the Back lens while use software method on the Front lens,” writes Chow in a post about the mod.
In order to get this feature and take it for a spin yourself, you’ll first need to either own a Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P, or Nexus 5X. Next, download the Camera NX v.7.3 APK from APK Mirror. It’s worth nothing that Chow’s mod is based on version 5.1.016 of Google’s official camera app.
While we haven’t tested out Chow’s mod ourselves, the initial response seems pretty positive, with most users stating that they’re surprised at how well it works. As always, it’s important to note that installing an APK not officially found in the Google Store can be dangerous. That said, APK Mirror is one of the most reliable APK hosting platforms around.