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ka_steve

I hope there's going to be a Pro Pro version with better camera

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I'm pretty sure there are a lot of possible customers for a QWERTY phone who can't buy this one, so they won't show up in the sales statistics, so I just wanted to give a sign that we are here.

For me the only reason I can't buy this phone is its lackluster camera. I'd *love* to have a full QWERTY keyboard again, I used my Motorola Droid until it died and I loved it. But in 2020 the two most important thing I use my phone for as a programmer/blogger digital nomad are typing and taking photos/videos. With a Samsung Galaxy I can take pretty good photos, but the typing is slow and annoying, so I have to use my laptop for longer texts. But I have a laptop, so I can use that for typing. I wish I wouldn't have to, but I can. But I don't have any other cameras and I'm not going to buy one. So the thing is that I can compensate for a lackluster input method but I couldn't for a lackluster camera. 

But boy, do I wish for a really Pro phone that has a "pro" keyboard and a "pro" camera. I don't even need anything else, I don't mind a mediocre cpu or old screen or anything, just a keyboard and a flagship camera would be enough for me to pay full flagship price for that phone.

And I know the main question the company has to answer is "are qwerty keyboards financially viable on the current market?" with the Pro 1, but please don't forget to take those people into consideration who would pay a premium markup for the keyboard but can't buy the Pro 1 for some other reason then the keyboard.

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On 2/20/2020 at 5:11 AM, ka_steve said:

For me the only reason I can't buy this phone is its lackluster camera. 

The camera hardware is the same as the Pixel 3 (Sony IMX363).  That is a flagship level camera.  Much of what makes photos better in modern cell phones is done through software.  The default camera app that comes with the Pro1 doesn't have millions of dollars off research and development behind it.  But you can run the same camera app that Google uses in their phones, so in theory, it should be able to produce photos as good as the Pixel 3.

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5 minutes ago, david said:

so in theory, it should be able to produce photos as good as the Pixel 3.

...and in practice, it does exceptionally well photos using Google camera (so not the stock one).

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You can find comparison shots between stock camera app and Gcam from my review. With Gcam you are able to take pretty good photos.

 

Edited by FlyingAntero
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Main issue with the camera seems to be that the lens they used is quite bad. Lots of distortion. Test taking a picture of a calibration pattern. Sharp in the middle but quite blurry and distorted at the edges.

Sure this can be compensated for to some extent by software, but a good sensor isn't worth much if the optics in front of it are bad.

 

calib_withGrid_down.jpg

Edited by hka
Updated image to one with a grid superimposed.
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I’m probably a minority here, but I prefer the stock camera over GCam, and even over the latest iPhone in some situations. GCam oversaturates the image and iPhone smoothing some details. In case of stock camera, you can post process the image the way you like it.

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11 hours ago, Slion said:

@FlyingAntero Do you have link to that Gcam app? 

I am using Gcam 6.2 port for PocoPhone F1. Image quality is great but viewfinder is upside down in Night Sight mode and the viewfinder can freeze some times in low light situations. However, you are able to take pics just fine.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/poco-f1/themes/port-modded-google-camera-hdr-night-t3910336

BSG port is another option since viewfinder is not upside down in Night Sight mode. However, it has some issues with noise level.

BSG port

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PocoPhone port

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I somehow missed your details, @FlyingAntero, in that last post, and discovered them, the hard way, myself. LOL  I decided to try out the Pocophone GCam ports, and the first one I found was the BSG port, with the night sight mode working correctly (not upside down in the viewfinder, and saved correctly too).  It does show upside down for the panorama mode, but the saved panoramic photo is correctly oriented. 

For the san1ty port (F1), as noted, the night site mode is upside down in the viewfinder, but saves the results properly.  It is just very difficult to use with it showing upside down.  

In both apps, the panorama mode is correct in the viewfinder, but saves things upside down.  Rotating the image in another application loses the panoramic abilities. 

In both apps, Photo Sphere (360 degree image) is correct in the viewfinder and correct in the saved file.

Both apps allow HDR+ Enhanced mode, but you have to go into the Advanced settings to enable showing the control on the side of the viewfinder (san1ty) or in the quick settings (BSG).  Otherwise, it is operating in HDR+, which is faster for taking photos but not as high quality.  The san1ty port has more second level settings available to play with.

I didn't do a ton of testing, but it seemed like leaving the Google AWB (auto white balance) off was best for the Pro1.  I read online that it could lead to a yellowish tint on some phones, and when taking a picture of a white wall, I did see it become a little off-white with that setting on.

The BSG port does allow you to configure 3 sharing apps that will show right next to the thumbnail after you take the picture, so you can share right from there instead of having to go into Google Photos to do the sharing.  I don't like that GCam doesn't allow you to pick your own gallery app to display the photos in, but that is apparently something google has hard coded in later versions of the camera app, and there is no way around it.  If you disable google photos in Android, then you can't view the photos by tapping on the thumbnail.

This, along with the night sight viewport being right-side-up, has me using the BSG version for now.  I'll try some others later.

One other tip for others...  Google Photos kept nagging me to update it every time it would launch from tapping on the thumbnail.  I kept ignoring it.  And I was upset that, when in landscape mode, when you would tap share from within google photos, it would show people with whom to share links to files in google photos first and the share in apps options (actually send the photos instead of just links to the cloud version) were below that.  They were off screen, and you couldn't scroll to see them.  I had to go to portrait mode to share the photos.  It was one of the reasons I was searching so hard for a way to have GCam not open Google Photos when tapping on the thumbnail.  Well, after I updated Google Photos to the latest version, that issue went away.  The apps to share with are still prioritized under the contacts to share links with, but they are mostly visible in landscape and you scan scroll to see them fully.

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One other thing I just found out between the BSG port and the san1ty port.  The BSG port somehow writes the EXIF data in a way that older EXIF viewer apps cannot read.  They could read the EXIF data from the san1ty port.  I had to install a newer EXIF app to be sure there was EXIF data in the BSG photos.

Related to that, BSG records the Camera maker as Google.  san1ty records it as Fxtec.  They both record the Camera model as QX1000.

Also, I forgot to mention in my other post, for anyone wanting to test out multiple GCam ports, you can't install more than one at a time, since they all have the same package name.   I tried some tools to modify the package name and app/shortcut name and the only one I found that works is App Cloner.  It used to be on the Play Store, but now has to be downloaded outside.  To create more than one clone, you have to pay for the premium version (there is an app in the Play Store for making payments).  Although, if you only want to have 2 GCam apps installed, you can change the name on one, and install the other normally, if you want.

To clone BSG, you have to enable the cloning option to "Skip native libraries", or else it will crash when you launch it.  san1ty doesn't require this.  This feature requires a paid add-on in the App Cloner app too of a couple dollars, and I believe that covers multiple features.  I could be getting this confused though.  It is either that feature or "remove app cloner branding" that required the add-on.  If you don't remove branding, when you launch a cloned app, it pops up a little thing briefly at the bottom of the screen that says something like "cloned with App Cloner".

Edited by david

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It's not perfect out of the box, but with Gcam this phone actually ended up surprising me.

With Gcam:

spacer.png

 

And even with Snapdragon camera, this concert photo isn't exactly the best but it fits the purpose:

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On 2/22/2020 at 7:11 AM, david said:

the default camera app that comes with the Pro1 doesn't have millions of dollars off research and development behind it

Isn't the stock camera app developed by Qualcomm?   Or maybe I just assumed that cuz of the snapdragon name...

Edited by Craig

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36 minutes ago, Craig said:

Isn't the stock camera app developed by Qualcomm?   Or maybe I just assumed that cuz of the snapdragon name...

I believe so.  Based on it.  But I am guessing qc didn't put that much into it. 

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2 hours ago, Craig said:

Isn't the stock camera app developed by Qualcomm?   Or maybe I just assumed that cuz of the snapdragon name...

https://android-apk.org/org.codeaurora.snapcam/

I do NOT think this is a safe place to download from, so for info only. (that the different packages for 2.0.002 differs with over a factor 2 in size, is HIGHLY suspicious IMHO)

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16 minutes ago, Craig said:

Unless my adblocker is hiding it or something, that link doesn't show who it was developed by...

image.png.5cd742276dfc44d181da576121911ae8.png

I doubt it is BY qualcomm but believe it is just FOR devices with qualcomm chips. But have not been able to find a site that looks like the author. I do not even know if the linked site contains clean or infected packages...

If you see a page like this, different bodies disagree on it being safe or not... I doubt it is....

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