Google Pixel photo perks heading to other Android phones – but you have to pay

Pixel-exclusive editing perks are landing with Google Photos –but you must have Google One

Google Pixel
(Image credit: Google Pixel)

Pixel-exclusive photo editing features will soon launch as part and parcel of its Google One membership. The news will see Google ramp up its Google One subscription perks by opening previously Pixel-only features to all Android users – at a cost.

Paid subscribers will get access to AI-powered photo effects like Portrait Light, Portrait Blur, and Color Pop, all bundled in with last year’s Google Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 4a 5G. Besides this, Google Photos will get a shiny new video editor that can apply filters, rotate, brighten, and stabilize the frame. Perhaps this can go some way to slowing the general malaise that has beset the platform, making it unworkable with its frustrating prompts and warnings. 

Yes, with all the news of the upcoming Android 12, furor over Google’s plans to provide a one-handed mode for titanic-sized handsets, it’s easy to forget the simpler, more tangible features that Google has to offer.

Unless your mobile is a Pixel-brand handset, you must be a paying Google One subscriber to get access to the editing facilities. It means users with a non-Pixel device from our best Android list can now get in on the action, which had been previously paywalled and off bounds. 

A Google One subscription starts at a very reasonable $2/ (approx. £1.50/AU$ 2.50) per month for 10GB of data. It further gives you access to a range of perks ranging from premium technical support, Google Store rewards, and a bunch of extended free trials.

And folks willing to splash out on the Google One subscription will unlock other features: free trials for Google Stadia, which is great for the current PS5 and Xbox Series X drought sweeping across the globe. There’s more, too: Google Nest Mini giveaways, and a courtesy VPN. If you're not content with VPN freebies, we've got a stack of fantastic options – paid and free – in our best VPN guide. 

It's worth noting that the effects let you edit new photos and old ones, leveraging machine-learning to bring a do-it-all editing suite to users’ fingertips. Your mobile handset must contain at least 3GB of RAM; it requires Android 8.0 or higher, too. With news that Google Photos is ending unlimited storage, it's worth making a backup of your data if you haven't already done so.

Needless to say, it's a great option if you're looking for an enhanced photo suite, but without the hassle of switching over to a Pixel-handset. The only minor annoyance is the cost, which is but yet another subscription fee to add to your growing roster of monthly payments. It's probably still quite reasonable, though, considering some of the edit tools are better than your run-of-the-mill editing apps.   

Source: Android Police

Luke Wilson
Luke Wilson

Luke covers all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets)