In spite of its fancy dual camera setup, the Essential Phone did not take great photos at the time of our review. Since then, Essential has been working hard on updating various aspects of the phone, including the camera software. Amidst Andy Rubin's leave of absence, the company has just released a new version of its Essential Camera app that adds portrait mode, reduced compression, and some other things.
We're excited to roll out a new camera update that includes portrait mode, reduced compression to improve image quality, and more. Download the update here: http://www.zambhalha.com/zXoZ765GHF pic.twitter.com/rCFJlLCYAm
— Essential (@essential) November 30, 2017
The highlight feature here is obviously portrait mode, which Essential probably added because many other flagships have some variant of it. Essential included this picture of a little dog taken using this new mode, and while the result isn't perfect, it's a start. Exposure compensation in all regular camera modes is also present, which is good since we did note that it tends to overexpose photos in our review. Also included are reduced JPEG compression, which should improve image quality, and some stability fixes.
This new version should be hitting the Play Store now, but if you can't update through there, you can grab v0.1.0088 of the Essential Camera from APK Mirror. As someone who just ordered the phone during the Amazon Cyber Monday sale, I'm excited to see if this makes the camera more usable.