Huge update should fix most problems of the Essential Phone’s camera

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Andy Rubin’s the Essential Phone is an interesting phone, but it’s not great, and the main reason for that is the crappiness of its camera. A flagship phone today must have a better, faster camera, period.

Essential tried to remedy that with several software updates, and while they did improve this or that aspect of the camera, it still wasn’t great.

Now, Essential has a new update for the phone’s software, and it could just be what Essential Phone owners have been waiting for.

The update makes the camera faster, improves its performance in low light, and adds some nifty new features for the 360 camera mode. Here’s the full list of changes:

  • Boosted capture speed in regular and low light to below 1 second (over 40% faster)
  • Improved brightness and performance in low-light
  • Spatial sound when shooting in 360 (supported on device, Facebook and YouTube)
  • Use volume up/down keys as shutter buttons in 360 mode
  • Countdown timer when in 360 camera mode
  • Bug fixes and overall reliability improvements

To get all these goodies, users will have to install the latest system build (NMI81C) (which started rolling out Wednesday) and upgrade the camera app through the Google Play store.

While these upgrades, on paper, fix all the biggest issues users have had with the Essential Phone’s camera, the company claims more fixes and upgrades are planned. These include HDR improvements, live 360 streaming to Facebook and Periscope, animated 360 stills and filters, as well as Portrait Mode and Pro Mode.

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