Google Pixel and Nexus users can access Portrait mode on their phone by sideloading an APK for Camera NX app. Thanks to developer Charles Chow, the feature is now available on Pixel, Pixel XL, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X as well. Portrait mode is one of the most sought after features these days, being offered mostly on dual camera phones. Google introduced Portrait mode on its devices with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones, which take advantage of artificial intelligence, alogrithms to create this effect, despite having a single rear camera lens.
To use Portrait mode on the first generation Pixel smartphones, users will have to sideload Camera NX v7.3, which is a Google Camera Mod. Once users install Camera NX, it will show up as a separate app on the phone. Camera NX icon is slightly different from the Google camera app. Upon opening, users will notice a new Portrait option in the menu on the left, which can be clicked on to take Portrait shots.
Camera NX app takes a burst of photos to create Portrait effect. In the Photos gallery, Portrait shots taken using Camera NX appear as Bursts of two photos – one with depth of field effect and another without the effect. It looks like the this feature currently works only when it can recognise a human face. Pixel 2, on the other hand, can create depth of field effect for objects as well. In our case, Portrait mode didn’t work on inanimate objects or while taking photo of a dog.
“Portrait mode will replace the Lens-blur mode in the menu, it provides the face-retouching feature on both front and back camera, and it needs a human face to do the portrait effect job, it will take two burst photos, one is normal ZSL HDR+ photos, the other is applied the portrait effect. if no human face shows up, you will get one normal photo,” explained Chow (via Chromloop) .
Google essentially uses a special type of image called PD to enable Portrait mode on Google Pixel 2 series, which support the feature on both front and back cameras. The Portrait mode on front lens of Pixel 2 is enabled by software, was used by the developer to bring the feature on other phones as well, including Pixel and Nexus devices.