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October 24, 2018

The Pixel’s Night Sight mode is currently available (but hidden)

by John_A

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Pixel range has always had some of the best smartphone cameras in the world, and Google promised to add to its impressive arsenal with additional features like Night Sight — a low-light mode that uses A.I. and the Pixel’s super-fast HDR processing to dramatically boost photos taken in low light. It seems Google’s almost ready to release the feature, too, as the latest update to Google Camera contains a fully functional version of the mode.

But don’t run off to find a dark enough spot to test it out just yet — it’s not currently enabled, and you’ll need to do some jiggery-pokery in the camera app’s code before you can access it for yourself. Thankfully, someone’s already done the hard work. If you’re really looking forward to testing out the results of Google’s newest mode, then you can download the modified APK and test it out for yourself by sideloading it onto any Pixel phone.

Since this isn’t an official app, you take on the installing of this app at your own risk. It will also install as a separate app, so make sure you launch the right one if you do take the plunge. Since this isn’t the final release, it’s also likely Google is putting the final touches on the Night Sight mode — so it’s possible the actual release will be even better than the example pictures taken with this sideloaded app.

We haven’t had a chance to test out the app for ourselves just yet — we need to wait for it to get dark, folks — but we’ll be sending one unlucky soul out into the cold dark as soon as it’s feasibly possible. Until then, XDA Developers has released some comparison shots that show off just how good the mode seems to be. While some images taken with a strong background light come out slightly overexposed, the majority of the images show off some utterly amazing transformations.

Not rocking a Pixel phone? Unfortunately this APK will only work with the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, and the Pixel 3, and Pixel 3 XL. But since it’s software-based it’s possible someone will adapt an APK to suit your phone soon.

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