It appears that the Samsung Galaxy S7, S8 and Note 8 smartphones equipped with an Exynos SoC can now install and use the unofficial Google Camera HDR+ port. The app was previously only compatible on similar Galaxy devices with Snapdragon processors. The port provides users with more precise image capture options, improved image quality and enhanced performance.
HDR+ is a high dynamic range processing algorithm that Google has implemented into its flagship Pixel devices (which have been praised as some of the best camera phones on the market.) Snapdragon SoCs carry out the task of processing HDR+ with the help of the Hexagon Digital Signal Processor (DSP) embedded in the chip.
Google had opted to keep HDR+ exclusive to Pixel and Nexus devices, but the developer community found a workaround and ported the app to several Snapdragon 820 and 835 phones.
The Galaxy S7, S8, and Note 8 are each known for having great camera and image quality when using the stock camera app, but having the option to employ HDR+ can enhance photos in a couple of different ways. Users can expect to see better dynamic range, color detail, and improved low light image processing.
In a Reddit thread discussing the HDR+ port for Exynos devices, user ybadusername has uploaded photos illustrating the difference between the stock Galaxy S8+ camera app and the Google Camera HDR+. The comments below explain the variances in image quality between the two:
"The Google Camera photos do show the background much brighter than the stock camera app's photos. The stock camera app's photos also have less grain and less of an oil painting look than the Google Camera app's photos. The Google Camera app's photos are more color accurate though (much more color accurate in those photos with the leaves). However, the Google Camera app seems to take longer to take a photo than the stock camera app. The progress bar stays on the screen for a while when taking each photo. The stock camera app is almost instant."
In the photo above, the first image is using Samsung's HDR and the second image is Google's HDR+.
Although it's possible the Google Camera HDR+ port isn't 100% optimized for use on Galaxy S7, S8, or Note 8 with Exynos chipsets, it may provide better performance over the native camera app. It may be worth giving it a test run. Drop a comment below and let us know how your photos turn out.