PortraitXI – Portrait mode photos on single-camera iPhones

Another day, another tweak. PortraitXI brings the coveted portrait mode to older single-camera iPhone models. Here’s how you can download and install it on your iPhone.

How PortraitXI works 

Portrait mode is a novelty feature and, consequently, is available only on the latest dual-camera iPhone models (except for iPhone XR that has a single camera). The only legitimate way to get this feature on your iPhone is to ditch your daily driver and buy a new $1000 device. That’s where PortraitXI comes in.

PortraitXI allows you to click portrait mode photos on a single-camera iPhone. It is developed by the eminent tweak developer, FoxFort Mobile.

With this tweak installed, you no longer need to upgrade to a newer model, which, as usual, is a money pit and offers next to nothing if your current device is working well.

Unlike other tweaks, it comes with a whole host of features that allow you to seamlessly edit and modify your photos with different apps. Here’s a quick rundown of its features –         

  • Works on a single-camera setup. 
  • Change the lighting of your photos.
  • Edit portrait mode photos with applications like Focos. 
  • Edit portrait adjustments on the macOS Photos app using AirDrop transfer.

While PortraitXI’s portrait mode works with all sorts of objects, it focuses on producing high-definition human portrait photos. It also intelligently analyzes the pictures you take and performs corrections on-the-fly for improved color accuracy.

It works best with big objects that possess regular geometric structures and have a contrasting background. 

Here’s a sample picture of a pet that was taken using the Portrait mode on a single-camera device.

The quality of this image is slightly downgraded because of the image optimization scripts running in the background, but rest assured that the actual image on your Apple device will look very high-quality. 

Which iPhone models are compatible with PortraitXI?

Here’s the official list of supported devices –

  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS (Max)   

How to enable Portrait Mode on iPhone 8/8+/7/7+/6S/6S+/SE

Step 1 Launch Cydia and go to the Search tab. There’s no need to add a new repository for this tweak since it’s hosted on Packix, which is a default source on all prominent jailbreak installers.    

Step 2 Search for “PortraitXI” and select the very first result that pops up.

Step 3 Purchase and install the tweak on your device. Once the installation process if over, tap the Restart SpringBoard button to make sure the changes take effect.   

Step 4 Open the Settings app, scroll down and go to PortraitXI’s preferences area.  

Step 5 Turn on the following options – 

  • Enabled – Enables portrait mode with bokeh effect.
  • Save HD photo – Saves photos in high definition. HD option will allow a maximum image size of 2500px. This will increase the time taken to process the image and is not recommended on older devices. We recommend enabling this feature only on iPhone 7 plus and above.

Step 6 Open the stock camera app, tap the portrait icon present in the bottom right corner next to the switch camera button and get shooting!   

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which camera is supported?

Both front and back cameras (wide-angle and telephoto lens) are supported.

2. How can I shoot the best portrait photos?    

While PortraitXI is designed for swift single-tap operation, there are a few nuances every photographer must be aware of.

To help you excel at the art of portrait shooting, mentioned below are certain tips and tricks that will help you take professional-grade pictures straight from your Apple iPhone!  

  • Keep your subject within a distance of 1-2 meters – not too close, not too far.
  • Ensure the subject has a contrasting background relative to its colors.
  • Ensure there is sufficient distance between the background and the subject.
  • If your subject is human, ensure he/she is facing the camera for better face detection.
  • If your subject is an object, ensure that it is of sufficiently big. 
  • Avoid crowds in the background.

3. Does it have real-time blur preview?

Real-time blur preview is resource-heavy. And since all processing is GPU-based, your battery can drain rather quickly.

To tackle this, the developer has disabled this feature for your own benefit. 

4. Is an internet connection required for processing photos?

No. All processing and manipulations are performed exclusively offline.

5. Can I use it on a dual-camera iPhone?

Yes. While dual-camera iPhones already have native Portrait camera mode, you must keep away from the subject to take a portrait shot.

Thanks to PortraitXI, you can shoot wide-angle portrait photos with the wide-angle or telephoto lens without buying the iPhone XR. 

6. Can I change the portrait lighting mode? 

Yes. This tweak doesn’t have in-camera editing. However, it allows you to edit photos in the stock Photos app and modify the portrait lighting mode. 

7. Why does the bokeh effect look bad on some objects?

Software-based processing that PortraitXI makes use of has certain limitations.

The background and foreground detection on certain objects is not as good as the one present in dual-camera hardware setups.

Your best bet to counter this is to choose big subjects with a contrasting background.      

8. Can I increase the blur effect in my photos?

Yes. Aperturize Cydia tweak by FoxFort Mobile will help you increase or decrease the intensity of the blur effect in the native Photos app.

9. How is PortraitXI better than App Store apps that can add the blur effect to my photos?

App Store applications only let you increase the blur effect in images. They don’t allow you to reproduce the characteristic depth effect of dual-camera devices. 

PortraitXI, on the other hand, produces native Portrait photos having portrait badge that appear in the portrait album. It also allows you to modify the portrait lighting mode. 

10. How can I use the front portrait mode on my iPhone 7 plus/iPhone 8 plus?  

Switch to the front camera, press the portrait and you are good to go!             

Needless to say, users having devices such as iPhone 6S plus, which lack a front camera can’t use this feature.   

Final Review

If you own an older device and wish to shoot high-definition portrait pictures, check out the sample photos and see if it will be a good fit for you.

For all you shutterbugs out there, purchasing this tweak is an absolute no-brainer at $4.99. 

Of course, there’s a difference between hardware-based dual-camera portrait mode and PortraitXI that relies on software manipulations.

However, the difference is so minuscule, you can barely tell them apart. And once you enable the HD photo option, it becomes almost imperceptible. Highly recommended! 

PortraitXI is available for download on Packix repo for $4.99. It is compatible with iOS 11 and 12.

If you have purchased this tweak, don’t forget to leave your comments detailing what you think of it below.

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