If you’re looking for a way to give your Nexus 6P a little taste of Google Pixel features, then you are in luck. The folks over at XDA have ported the Pixel Camera app to work on any 64-bit device running Android 7.0 Nougat. That means you can now get a taste of one of the Pixel’s exclusive features on your Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X right now without rooting.
Not a lot has changed in this app. We are going to go over the minor changes first and then move on to the major stuff. So, starting off with the first obvious thing, the grid view button has migrated from the Settings menu to the viewfinder and now lets users choose between three different types of grids – 3 x 3, 4 x 4, and Golden Ratio. It is nestled between among the timer, HDR, and flash settings, in the top right corner of the screen, and is also available in video mode.
Google Camera 4.2 also has a few miscellaneous UI tweaks, such as a repainted, predominantly white Settings menu, and a cool transition animation when switching between the front and back cameras that have the traditional mountain-and-sun landscape mode icon morph into a bust.
Now, with the little things out of the way, let’s move on to the gist of it. Some of our favorite new things in the updated Camera app are the AE/AF lock, which is triggered by long-pressing anywhere in the viewfinder, and the manual exposure slider. The AE/AF lock allows you to maintain the same focus point while reframing your shot, or refocus without changing the current exposure setting.
Unfortunately, we must now move on to the bad stuff – what doesn’t work, what’s broken, and the like. First off, if for some reason you were hoping that an updated Camera app would allow you to record 4K videos with EIS on, we’ll have to disappoint you. EIS is still limited to 1080p@30FPS since it has not so much to do with the software, as it has with the hardware of the device. Same goes for 1080p videos at 60 FPS.
Apart from that, the only thing that’s “broken” in the app, is burst mode. Sadly, holding the shutter button down does nothing, this time, around, and if this feature is important to you, you might be better off sticking to the old version of Google Camera for now. Still, we’d say give this port a try, keep it around for a couple of days, or a week, as you might like the manual exposure controls and AE/AF lock. Besides, you can use it alongside the stock camera app.