Google’s Pixel phones have always been capable of taking good photos, but mainly due to the company’s software wizardry, while the hardware lagged behind the competition.
This might change with the upcoming Pixel 6 XL (it might also be called the Pixel 6 Pro). According to XDA-Developers, the latest Google Camera app update contains references to an “ultratele” zoom variant, as well as “5x” zoom. Further digging through the Camera app code revealed that the actual optical zoom level of the camera may be 4.3x, which implies that Google might use a periscope lens for its telephoto camera.
A previous report by leaker Jon Prosser claimed that the Pixel 6 XL will have a triple rear camera, with a 50-megapixel wide sensor, a 48-megapixel telephoto sensor, and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide sensor. Combining the two, it appears that Google won’t pull any punches when it comes to camera hardware on the new Pixels.
I was struck by the Pixel camera curse
Google’s Pixel 4 and 5 both had dual rear cameras; if Prosser is right, the Pixel 6 XL will be the first Google phone with a triple rear camera. The smaller Pixel 6, however, will likely only have two cameras on the back.
The upgrades might not sound that hot in a time when basically every other Android flagship has a massive megapixel count, but it’ll be exciting to see what Google can do with the new hardware. As Android Authority points out, Google’s Super Res Zoom tech allowed the company to push the Pixel 4’s 2x telephoto sensor to 8x with decent quality. Super Res Zoom combined with a periscope camera could allow for 10x hybrid zoom or better.
We’ve seen plenty of leaks, but there’s no official word on when the new Pixel phones could launch. Google typically launches its phones in September and October, so…probably then.
As for the rest of the specs, the Google Pixel 6 will likely have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, with 8GB of RAM, 128/256GB of storage, and a 4,614mAh battery. The Google Pixel 6 XL (Pro) will have a 6.71-inch AMOLED display, 12GB of RAM, 128/256/512GB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery.