Messing with Pixel 3 Night Mode on the Essential PH-1

Since there’s a long and rich history of people porting the Google Camera app from the Pixel phones over to all sorts of other phones, the signature new feature of the Pixel 3 lineup, Night Mode, is now available to phones that can run the GCam port.


I took both of these photos basically standing there hand-holding the phone, no tripod, no flash, just available light. They’ve been lightly edited in Snapseed. The one of the Marilyn Monroe mural on Connecticut Ave is a little cropped.

Are they immaculate, perfect, DSLR-quality photos? Not necessarily, but damn good for hand holding a phone and not making any special accommodations for the photo. Oh, I guess I did crouch down low to get the angle of my car and the apartment building where a friend lived until he moved in with his gf a couple months ago.

Technically this doesn’t magically turn the Essential camera into a Pixel 3, mainly because the Essential camera doesn’t have optical image stabilization, and while a lot of Night Mode is a software trick, it also does some tricks with the image stabilization to make Night Mode even better. But the OG Pixel phones also don’t have OIS, so there’s an OIS-free version of Night Mode in the app that lets Night Mode work on a larger variety of phones. Neat.

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