What is Portrait Light by Google? Which Devices will get it?

On September 30th, Google finally unveiled the latest addition to its famed Pixel lineup. Dubbed as Pixel 5, the phone offers a decent package at a lucrative price. Enthusiasts have been left disappointed by the midrange-level specs, of course, but the Pixel experience tends to exceed hardware specs and delve deep into Google’s software wizardry.

As promised, the new Pixel devices — Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a —  are also bringing some interesting features. And today, we’re taking a look at one such little but significant addition to the Google Photos app. So, without further ado, let’s learn all about Portrait Light by Google.

What is Portrait Light by Google?

Every now and then we come across a poorly-lit picture. These pictures tend to be perfect from every angle conceivable except one — lighting. Often, the angle of exposure takes the beauty out of the said images, leaving us in frustration. Fortunately for us, Google thought long and hard about the “issue” and took it upon itself to come up with a solution.

Portrait Light uses the power of Machine Learning to create an artificial light source and hands you the ability to adjust the light’s position and brightness. It doesn’t matter how old the photos are, you’d easily be able to apply Portrait Light from your supported Pixel device.

Which devices are getting Portrait Light?

  • Available for — Pixel 4a (5G) and Pixel 5
  • Confirmed for — Pixel 4a, Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL expected to get it
  • Pixel 2/XL and the original Pixel/XL may miss out

As the feature has been announced alongside the new Pixel devices — Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) — those are the first two devices to get it. As always, older Pixel devices would also get the feature, starting with Pixel 4a. Last year’s Pixel 4 duo and their predecessors — Pixel 3a and Pixel 3 devices — should also get Portrait Light in the coming weeks.

Pixel 2 and the original Pixel could miss out on the update, as both devices have reached the end of their life cycles.

Where can you find Portrait Light?

Portrait Light isn’t a separate application. So, you won’t have to download it separately. It has been baked into the original Google Photos app and can be accessed from there only. Google has already started rolling out the update and the supported devices would start to receive it once they reach the end-users.

Does Portrait Light only work on Portrait photos?

Capturing a photo in Portrait mode gives you the bokeh of high-end DSLR cameras, making the photos appear more engrossing. Google’s new mode, Portrait Light could come off as a feature made solely for Portrait photos. However, in reality, you’d be able to use it on any of your non-Portrait photos; even the ones taken on older devices.


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A mediocre engineer hoping to do something extraordinary with his pen (well, keyboard). Loves Pink Floyd, lives football, and is always up for a cup of Americano.


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