Portrait Mode has pretty much taken the world by storm. Forget about fancy variable aperture lens cameras or triple lens cameras, people are only concerned with whether their phone can take pictures of their faces with creamy blurred out backgrounds.
Now, Instagram is making this shooting mode even more accessible with their brand new feature called Focus. Essentially, it lets you take Portrait Mode photos even if your phone can’t. But, how does it stack up to the iPhone X‘s Portrait Mode?
Well, I went around the office and took a couple of Portrait Mode photos with both the iPhone X’s camera app and the Focus feature on Instagram’s Stories. Here are the results, be sure to click on each to view a larger image.
All the images on the left are from the iPhone X.
Honestly, it’s not bad. Edge detection reminds me a lot of the first gen of Portrait Mode images and the photos turned out pretty decently. The biggest thing you’re losing out on is resolution and detail so you might not want to print your Instagram Focus images on a billboard. You can take a picture with the app and save it to your phone so you can post it elsewhere if that’s something you’re into.
The other big difference — at least compared to devices like the iPhone X — is the fact that you lose the more flattering angle provided by the zoom lens. I mean, it’s not a perfect replacement, but it’s something you can play around with.
Portrait Mode for everybody…almost
One of the most annoying things about buying something like an iPhone 8 or iPhone 7 was the fact that they didn’t have Portrait Mode — this Instagram Stories feature fixes that…sort of. Unfortunately, the company is a little vague on the supported devices especially on the Android side of things. In the release they announced that the feature is available on the iPhone SE, 6S, 6S+, 7, 7+, 8, 8+, X and “select Android devices”.
Curious, we checked the Android handsets we had access to and found that our Samsung Galaxy S8+, Huawei P20, Mate 10 Pro, Xiaomi Mi MIX 2, and ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom had this feature. Among our phones that didn’t have it included the Samsung Galaxy Note8, honor 9 Lite, Xiaomi Redmi 5 and the Huawei Nova 2 Lite.
It seems like the entry-level phones aren’t supported yet (not sure if they will be supported in the future either) — except for the Note8, weirdly — and that’s a bit of a shame. It seems like this feature would definitely be much appreciated on budget phones. Maybe it’s a hardware limitation, we’re not sure.
Give this feature a try and let us know if your phone has this feature in the comments below!