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Latest Essential Phone update finally adds Auto-HDR to the camera

Ever since its launch in late May, the Essential Phone's camera has been, well, a bit of a mess. While the camera hardware seemed awfully promising, the Essential Camera app was slow, buggy, and just a pain to use out of the box. Essential's regularly been updating the app to provide the best possible experience, and the latest one finally adds Auto-HDR.

Similar to most all phones, Auto-HDR will automatically capture a photo with the Essential Phone's HDR mode if it detects that the current scene/subject would look better with it turned on. You've previously had to manually turn this on or off when using the Essential Camera app, and while it certainly would have been nice to have this from the get-go, I suppose it's better late than never.

In addition to Auto-HDR, Essential says it's added "a new HDR algorithm that improves camera performance and scene rendering." Along with this, you can also expect "dynamic indicators" for HDR and Flash settings and a host of general stability improvements.

This update changes the Essential Camera's version to, and it's available to download from the Google Play Store now.

If you've got the update, have you noticed a substantial improvement in camera performance?

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Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • I give them props for continuing to update the phone
  • Loving this phone
  • Low light performance seems noticeably better/faster. That was really the only complaint I had with the device. I'll be switching back from the Google Camera app now.
  • I'd love to know how these updates have improved picture quality...The early reviews absolutely trashed the camera, but now that it is cheaper and with these updates, I've been wondering if there might be enough there now to move to Essential.
  • **** polishing
    The act of trying to make something hopelessly weak and unattractive appear strong and appealing. An impossible process that usually results in a larger, uglier ****. Seriously, this long to get auto hdr since the phones release? What a joke, it was supposed to be a flagship, that is a pretty standard feature on them...
  • You hate your Essential PH-1?
  • **** sarcasm
    The use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
    Seriously, you're not very good at it.
  • It IS a flagship. If "auto hdr" determines whether or not it's a flagship in your eyes, you have issues.
  • Most disappointing phone of last year for me after owning multiple phones. Great looks but software performance is like a low end phone, exaggerating yes but expected much more. Oreo beta was better but still not great.