Nexus 5 camera gets a much needed boost with the Android 4.4.1 update

Nexus 5 Camera
The Nexus 5's black spot might be finally fixed

The Nexus 5 is a great smartphone in many ways ... except for that camera. After languishing with a rather lagging snapper, the Nexus 5 is finally getting a camera boost with the Android 4.4.1 KitKat update.

Available over the air now, the latest Android update is geared towards fixing and enhancing the Nexus 5's picture-taking capabilities.

Google's Director of Engineering for Android David Burke told The Verge that the Nexus 5 shutterbugs should expect a faster snapper overall.

Burke explained that before the update, the camera would create images focused on better quality over speed. Android 4.4.1 makes it so the camera fires frames at faster shutter speeds while not relying on optical image stabilization as it does now.

Post-update, the Nexus 5 camera will shoot images at faster shutter speeds, producing pictures with less motion blur. This comes with the tradeoff of more pixel noise because the camera is probably bumping up the ISO sensitivity to do this. Burke says his team has also improved the camera's autofocus, the exposure and the white balance, all aimed at enhancing image quality.


Nexus 5, Android 4.4.1, Android KitKat, Android Camera App

The trade off of faster images could be more noise (credit: The Verge)

On top of improving image quality, the camera app is said to launch a full second faster. Default camera app users will also notice a new progress indicator for HDR+ mode that indicates how far along processing photos are.

One extra, non-camera related thing the 4.4.1 update fixes on the Nexus 5 is the face unlock bug. Currently facial recognition sometimes causes a bug that locks the camera app with a blank white screen, which requires a full device reboot to fix.

9to5Google also spotted the Android 4.4.1 KitKat update is destined for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 as well.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.