The convenience and high-resolution output of Android camera phones have made them surpass traditional point-and-shoot cameras. However, when we share our photos through apps like WhatsApp, heavy compression is applied to reduce file size and ensure faster transmission. This compression can diminish the clarity and detail captured by advanced camera sensors. Recognizing this drawback, Meta (formerly Facebook) is testing a new feature that allows beta testers to reduce compression.

WhatsApp, in particular, has been known for its heavy compression, which sacrifices image quality for efficient data transfer. With the latest beta versions (v2.23.12.13 on Android and v23.11.0.76 on iOS), select testers now have the option to send images with better clarity using the new HD option. This option appears alongside the crop button after selecting an image and preserves the original resolution instead of downsizing it to standard quality while maintaining the aspect ratio. However, the HD option is only available for particularly high-resolution images.

whatsapp HD images

It’s important to note that the HD images are still slightly compressed, although not as heavily as regular images. Additionally, the HD option needs to be manually enabled for each image, which can be cumbersome. Interestingly, WhatsApp has also removed the ability to define the default upload quality for photos, where users could previously choose between Best quality, Data saver, and Automatic settings.

While videos cannot be sent uncompressed yet, one workaround is to attach media files as documents to bypass WhatsApp’s aggressive compression. With WhatsApp’s generous file size limits for attachments, users can even send large video files uncompressed, especially when connected to a reliable Wi-Fi network.

The HD image option is currently being rolled out to a limited number of beta testers, and a broader beta release is expected in the future.