Google's Android Go phones are soon to get an upgrade, as Google is preparing to bring HDR camera software to its budget lineup.
Google could bring HDR to cameras on Android Go phones
GCam modders looking into the Camera Go app discovered that there is a new "Detail Enhance" toggle in the camera settings beneath Flash and Face Enhance. The new toggle includes an HDR mode (High Dynamic Range).
HDR can be turned on, off, or put in automatic mode. There doesn't appear to be any HDR+. HDR+ is Google's camera software for its premium Pixel series.
The importance of High Dynamic Range for budget phones
High Dynamic Range is important for budget phones because it improves budget phone photography significantly. Most Android users have come to expect that "you get what you pay for."
Users believe that if they want the best, they must spend hundreds of dollars (nowadays, $1,000 USD or more) to get the best. Few expect quality cameras on budget phones. Since budget phones cost much less, users expect less.
For example, Android phone buyers can't reasonably expect two years of updates for budget phones. Companies only release budget phones for cost-conscious customers. Even when they release budget phones, OEMs don't sound trumpets or make a big deal about them.
Google is bringing photography improvements to the budget category. Few expect phone makers to care about budget phones.
Google knows that High Dynamic Range for Android Go is unchartered territory and sees potential for the future of its own phones. By bringing better photography modes to Android Go, the search engine giant is setting the tone for budget Android phones in the future.
And, as Android Go buyers come to expect more for their few dollars, they won't merely tolerate a phone for an affordable price. They'll start to become more particular about what they want and how much they can get for the sticker price.
What is Android Go?
Android Go is the name of a series of budget smartphones that run Google's Android software. "Android Go" is different from standard Android in that it is a lightweight version of the OS.
Budget smartphones often have small storage space, which means that every MB and GB count. Just last month, Google announced Camera Go for its Android Go series. Camera Go is a lightweight camera app that provides essential camera modes for camera users.
Now that Google is bringing HDR to the series, it's easy to see where Google is taking the budget phone series. Whether or not Google brings HDR+ from its premium Pixel series to the Go series is anyone's guess. And yet, that seems to be the next evolutionary step in bringing formidable camera tech to a neglected phone segment.