Higher Ultra HDR Image Quality Format on Pixel 8 and Android 14: What’s the Catch?

What you should know

– Ultra HDR is a new feature in Android 14 that enhances photos by bringing out vibrant colors, brighter highlights, and darker shadows.
– Ultra HDR improves the natural and less processed look of photos, fitting both shadows and bright objects equally well into the frame.
– Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro support Ultra HDR by default, but other devices require specific hardware components and software support to capture and display Ultra HDR photos.
– Adobe Lightroom is currently the only app that supports Ultra HDR editing on Android 14, while popular social media apps like Instagram do not yet support Ultra HDR content.

Full Story

Google’s latest mobile OS version, Android 14, introduces a new photography feature called Ultra HDR. This feature enhances photos by capturing a high dynamic range that perfectly balances shadows and bright objects. According to Google, Ultra HDR brings out vibrant colors, brighter highlights, and darker shadows, resulting in a more natural and less processed look. Additionally, Ultra HDR takes and displays high-definition photos without altering the original quality of the image.

To determine if Pixel 8 takes better photos with Ultra HDR, an example was provided by Mishaal Rahman. The sample photo showcased shadows and a shiny water surface, demonstrating the difference that Ultra HDR can make. Google has also created a graph that explains the transition from standard phone camera HDR to Ultra HDR, highlighting the advantages of the new feature.

Display analyst Dylan Raga has praised Google for its advancements in achieving more natural-looking high dynamic range photos with Ultra HDR. The feature utilizes less tone mapping during image processing, resulting in improved contrast and a balanced appearance. Google’s control of the process aims to avoid overly excessive tone mapping that is often present in standard processed HDR images.

However, enjoying the full benefits of Ultra HDR requires certain conditions to be met. This includes having a device that supports the new format, using a display that can showcase the high dynamic range, and using apps that support Ultra HDR editing. Currently, Adobe Lightroom is one app that offers full Ultra HDR support for editing photos on Android 14.

Viewing Ultra HDR images can be done through the Google Chrome platform or a Chromium-based browser. Devices supported for viewing Ultra HDR images include Pixel 7 and newer phones running Android 14, Windows PCs with HDR displays, Macs with HDR displays, and any device that supports Android 14 Ultra HDR.

While Ultra HDR brings significant improvements to photography, it is currently exclusive to newer Pixel devices and has limited support on other devices. It is still in its initial stages, and its importance is expected to grow in the future. Currently, popular social media apps like Instagram do not support Ultra HDR content.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynnhttps://www.phonesinsights.com
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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