There is no doubt that the Nexus 5X and 6P have the hardware to compete with just about any phone on the market. Having premium specs is a great advantage, but the greatness of the phone can be reduced without the software to help maximize performance. When it comes to photos, Nexus owners have been left with much to be desired given the camera and processor abilities in each phone.
There are apps available to help improve image quality like the Google Camera HDR+, which has been very popular. The problem with HDR+, however, is speed. It's possible for the camera UI to freeze when taking photos in rapid succession or when trying to photograph fast-moving objects.
When Google released the first Pixel phone, it introduced a new feature called ZSL, or Zero Shutter Lag mode. This solved the issue of HDR+ with quick photos and moving objects, but unfortunately, this option was not included in an update of the Google Camera app for 2015 Nexus smartphones (the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X). ZSL mode was exclusive to first generation Pixel devices, even though the Snapdragon processors in the Nexus phones have the hardware necessary to support ZSL.
The solution for Nexus owners is the Google Camera NX app created by XDA Senior Member Charles_I. The app released last year which brought ZSL mode and other Google Pixel features to the Nexus 5X and 6P.
With the release of the second generation Pixel phones coming this week, the newest version of the Camera NX app includes Motion Photos and Face Retouching. Motion photos, similar to Live Photos on iOS, will take a few seconds of video before and after a shot. Face retouching will allow you to refine and smooth out faces in your pictures. It should be noted that Portrait mode will not work with this update on Nexus phones because they lack the required hardware for depth mapping.
You can grab the apps here.
If you own a Nexus 5X or 6P, do you plan on downloading the Google NX camera app? Are Motion Photos and Face Retouching important features? We want to hear your thoughts.