Pixel 2 XL
Pixel 2 XL Portrait ModeIBTimes, India/ Sami Khan

Ever since Google started its own line of Pixel smartphone series, which marked the end of the Nexus era, the company has managed to gain appreciation with commendable mobile photography.

The original Pixel and Pixel XL were great camera phones in 2016, and Google improved them with Pixel 2 series. One of the best camera features that Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL brought to the table was Portrait Mode and what if we told you there's a way to get this feature on older smartphones.

Yes, you heard it right! If you're using the first-gen Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X then you're in for a major treat. Camera NX – a Google Camera mod that allows various levels of customisations while shooting – has been updated with the much-loved Portrait Mode straight from the Pixel 2 series. All you have to do is download the app first and an additional update, which we will explain in a while.

Google Pixel 2 XL
Google Pixel 2 XLIBT/Sami Khan

According to 9to5Google, Camera NX app adds depth of field effect to photos and much like the Pixel 2's Camera, it saves two photos. One with blur effect and one without. But the Photos album doesn't recognise the Portrait Mode shots on older phones and saves them as burst set.

Interestingly, the updated Camera NX app brings Portrait Mode functionality to both front and rear cameras along with face-retouching feature, which should be quite exciting for users of older-gen models. But upon testing, it has been found that the depth of field effect is only working for human faces and not for objects.

But a sample image shared by the developer shows accurate outlining of the subject with a blurred background. The Camera NX app also gets HDR+ technology, which treats photos with better exposure under challenging lights.

Camera NX sample with Portrait Mode on Nexus 5X
Camera NX sample with Portrait Mode on Nexus 5XChromloop

How to get it?

Camera NX app can be sideloaded on your Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X without rooting. Simply download the apk file from the source on your phone and click install. In case there's an error, go to Settings > Security and turn on Unknown sources under device administrators. Remember to turn this setting back off once the installation is successful.