Here’s How You Can Use Portrait Mode Effect on an Older iPhone

January 18, 2018 ( iPhone )
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If you are an iPhone user and don’t have the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus or the iPhone X, then you are probably missing out on the exclusive portrait mode feature. Even if you have the iPhone 7 or 8, you’re still not on the portrait mode bandwagon.

We understand your pain, though, so we dug up a solution for you to get the Portrait mode without using the Plus or the X model iPhones.

The apps on this list are the next best alternative to a native portrait mode on a device.

Honorable Mention:

FabFocus ($3.99)

FabFocus is a specialized background blur effects app that is brimming with options. You can set the level of bokeh and blur and even add mask feathering to give your pictures more realism.

FabFocus uses facial recognition to identify faces, and if it doesn’t recognize one, it will ask you to manually mask the object. It isn’t the best but after the initial effect, the masking effect can be manually adjusted which in turn makes it easier to add final touches.

One thing you should keep in mind while using the app is that the masking brush is located half an inch above where you’d place your finger. This may not be conventional but it makes it easier to zoom in and out via double tap.

FabFocus at times might overwhelm the user with its vast range of options but it is the most detailed app for manual customization of bokeh effects and has our approval.

PortraitCam.Ultimate Camera ($3.99)

PortraitCam is a dedicated bokeh effect app with few features that make it stand out. The stand out function is that you can apply a stronger depth effect at a particular point in the picture.

You can increase or decrease the opacity of your masking brush to give off a stronger or a weaker effect while masking your photos, but that’s not the extent of it. You can even feather your pictures and set blur lines and add depth effects to your photos.

A few glare and flare effects, RGB shifts, and a few filters are standout functions of this app. All in all, a great alternative to buying a Plus model iPhone for the Portrait mode effect.


While our top picks at this time are FabFocus and PortraitCam (and you can’t go wrong with either of them), these free apps can also perform some limited magic. Here are a few honourable mentions to round this list off.

  • Fore Photo – Doesn’t have much options but if you want to get the bokeh look without much effort and spending any cash, then this app is worth taking a look at.
  • Fabby – Has a really funky selfie bokeh effect. You might also appreciate that you can smoothen your face and blur the background in one blow.

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