This story was originally published and last updated .
WhatsApp might be facing stiffer competition than ever from the likes of Telegram and Signal, but it remains one of the most popular ways to communicate with your friends and family. A recent beta version hinted at some upcoming improvements to video compression, but in the meantime, images are already getting that same treatment.
WABetaInfo found the feature under development about two weeks ago in WhatsApp beta for Android 188.8.131.52. Back then, two invisible options for adjusting the quality of video and photo uploads were uncovered. Now the feature is rolling out with v184.108.40.206 beta (APK Mirror), but only for photos.
Left: Old WhatsApp settings. Right: New photo upload quality settings.
Three tiers are available for photo uploads, including "Auto," "Best quality," and "Data saver." You're able to change the setting under the "Media upload quality" section in "Storage and data."
Unfortunately, the difference between the previous data saving compression and the new higher quality one is minimal. I tested it with my phone, trying to capture the same picture from the same angle, but changing the setting in between. With "Data saver," the photo was sent as a 0.9MP image (720x1280 with a size of 80KB). Upping it to "Best quality" resulted in a 1.4MP image (899x1599 with a size of 113 KB). I wouldn't call this best quality, it's more like a slightly better quality.
Left: Data saver. Right: Best quality.
Given the minor difference in size and potential data consumption, you're better off keeping it on the highest setting and skipping the "Auto" option. But if you really want to send full-res photos, we still recommend using this trick. There'll be no compression in quality or size and your media will arrive as is.
If you want to try the new setting, you can join the WhatsApp beta on the Play Store or download the latest beta directly from APK Mirror. Only the setting for photo uploads is available, there's no similar option for video yet.
This article has been update with information about the feature rolling out in WhatsApp beta.