Google hasn’t solved an eight month old Pixel 2 panorama camera issue, so someone fixed it themselves. You can install the patch yourself, however it requires root access.
The problem, if you aren’t familiar, is with the Pixel 2’s infinity focus point. Worse, the problem has affected the phone almost since launch. However, the problem doesn’t affect the Pixel 2 XL.
The issue happens when using a manual camera app or panorama mode. Essentially, the device has a variable focal point. As you approach infinity at the focal point, things come into focus and become sharper — as they should. Unfortunately when you reach infinity, the image goes blurry. This is why panoramas are affected, as they rely on the infinite focal point to keep everything sharp and in focus.
The problem also affects apps like Cardboard and its ability to shoot panoramas.
An unofficial fix
Users opened a Google Issue Tracker post in November 2017. However, Google hasn’t fixed the issue. An annoyed user — known to us only as ‘av…@gmail.com’ — posted a fix.
The individual created a patched binary for the cameras Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), a layer of programming that allows the operating system to interact with the hardware.
The user’s patch forces a minimum focal distance of 0.5. If Android tries to go below that, the HAL will reset to 0.5.
In order to use this patch, users must be rooted. That means unlocking your bootloader if you haven’t already. It also means wiping your phone and losing your data.
Additionally the creator only promises it will work with with the same build of Android his device is on, namely Android 8.1 Oreo running the latest July security patch.
If the panorama bug is a serious issue for you, you can test out the fix at your own risk. Head over the Google Issue Tracker page and follow the instructions to install the HAL patch.