WhatsApp prepares an option for you to change the quality of the photos and videos you send in the app. The quality of the photos can already be configured in WhatsApp Beta, with three options available and a generic explanation that does not specify the differences between the different options.

If you have WhatsApp Beta and are wondering what the difference is between different photo quality settings, we’ve made the comparison for you. Keep in mind, of course, that this is still a “beta” feature, so there could be some changes between now and when it is activated for users of the stable version of WhatsApp.

Three options available

First, let’s see what quality options WhatsApp has to offer you. This configuration is already active in WhatsApp Beta, accessible from the Storage and data section of the WhatsApp settings.

In the File download quality section, at the moment it already appears Photo download quality, although in the future video quality will also be added. At this point, three options are available:

Automatic Without further explanation, it is understood that this will be the default setting and that it should adjust the quality automatically.

Best quality. It will prioritize the image quality, even if it takes up more space and therefore takes longer to send and uses more data.

Saving data. Send the image in lower quality, saving data and with faster delivery.

With photos from the gallery

To test how this affects the quality settings of WhatsApp, we started by sending the same photo saved on the mobile with the different settings. The advantage of using a photo from the gallery is that the upload will be the same in all cases, so it could be appreciated if there were small changes in compression.

However, the quality settings don’t seem to affect the photos in the gallery, at least in their current situation. Photos are sent exactly the same size and occupy the exact same size, with no change if using Wi-Fi or data.

Although in the settings it is indicated that this quality setting applies to “multimedia files that you are going to send”, without specifying that they are only those that you take with the integrated WhatsApp camera, for the moment there is no change: they are sent resized to about 1 megapixel. Of course, remember that you can still send photos in original quality using the old trick of sending them as documents.

With WhatsApp camera

Although the configuration does not seem to affect sending photos from the mobile gallery, the thing changes if we send the photos directly with the built-in WhatsApp camera. In this case, there are some obvious differences, beyond the small variations in size typical of technically different photos.

The most obvious change is that automatic or power saving quality photos have a resolution of around 1.5 megapixels, while photos sent with the high quality setting go up to 3.1 megapixels. The specific sizes depend on the aspect ratio, but for example we went from 1,056 x 1,408 pixels to 1,536 x 2,048 pixels. About twice the number of pixels.

The good news is that the file size is still small, although proportionately around 80% larger in our tests, it’s still a few hundred kilobytes, which usually shouldn’t be a problem.

The main difference is that the photos are resized to 1.5 MP in automatic or data saving quality and to 3.1 MP in high quality

The bad news is that automatic configuration is no different from backing up data. While this setting should have changed the quality of delivery depending on whether we were using Wi-Fi or data, in our testing there was no change.

Another detail, the photos with the camera, even in “data saving” quality, are sent at 1.5 megapixels, while the photos in the gallery do so at 1 megapixel. This suggests that WhatsApp seems to be on the verge of increasing the resolution of the photos we send in chats. From 1 to 1.5 megapixels at the start and 3.1 maximum.