WhatsApp might be the most popular chat app in the world, but it isn’t the best for sending photos and videos. The app has a 16MB limit on any media you send, and, even still, compresses it to save space. That compression results in a lower quality image or video, which is frustrating in a time when smartphones have incredible cameras. As it happens, there are ways around this quality problem, including a brand new feature currently in beta testing.
As reported by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp is currently testing the ability to send high-quality images in chats. The company dropped the feature in the latest beta version of WhatsApp, which is version 220.127.116.11 on iOS, and 18.104.22.168 on Android. If you’re running either of these betas versions on your iPhone or Android device, you might now see a new option when choosing a photo to send.
This new button, located next to the crop tool, allows you to choose whether to send the photo in “standard quality” or “HD quality.” The former likely applies the same compression to your image that WhatsApp has used for years, which reduces the overall quality noticeably when sharing larger, high-quality photos. However, the “HD quality” option allows you to share your photo in more detail, more along what you’d expect sharing a photo in something like iMessage. However, it’s not perfect: WhatsApp still applies some compression to photos with this setting, so you won’t be able to send HD photos in their native quality. But they’ll look much better than they did before.
In addition, this options only appears for images that are large enough to justify HD quality. If WhatsApp doesn’t think the photo is big enough, you’ll only be able to send it in SD, as per usual. The feature also only applies to photos, so you won’t be able to send videos in higher quality this way.
WhatsApp is rolling this feature out over the coming weeks, but it is available to some starting today. For your best chance to give the feature a shot, you should enroll in the WhatsApp beta on your platform. Unfortunately, the iOS beta is currently full, but Android users can enroll in the beta from here. If you do enroll, update your WhatsApp app to make sure it installs the beta version. Alternatively, you can sideload the latest beta version from APK Mirror.
You don’t need to be on the WhatsApp beta to send high quality images
If you can’t get the feature working on the beta, there is a workaround for sending high quality photos and videos in conversations. Rather than send your photos and videos as photos and videos, you should send them as documents. WhatsApp might have a 16MB cap for media, but it has a 100MB limit on documents. And anything apparently can be a “document.”
As MUO explains, you can open a WhatsApp conversation, tap the attachment icon (Android) or the (+) (iOS), choose “Document,” then choose the photos and videos you want to share. WhatsApp will send the files without compression, so you can share your content in its full quality (as long as it’s under 100MB).