Pixel 3: We can do some-more with one back camera than we can with four

The singular camera on a behind of a Pixel 3 creates a contemptuous statement. In a landscape in that many high-end phones value their salt have dual (iPhone XS), 3 (Huawei P20 Pro, LG V40) or presumably even 4 (Samsung Galaxy A9) back cameras, Google’s eagerness to gamble a plantation on a Cycloptic lens is a play of certainty that says, “Our singular lens is improved than all your imagination cameras combined.”

It’s value observant that a Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have dual 8-megapixel front-facing cameras, though I’ll get to that later.

Phone-makers, including Samsung and Apple, have been famous to haven a second lens for a higher-end indication of a set. The Galaxy S9 has a singular 12-megapixel lens where a Galaxy S9 Plus joins a dual-lens pack; a same goes for a singular 12-megapixel lens on a stirring iPhone XR, contra a dual-lensed iPhone XS models. But both Google’s 5.5-inch Pixel 3 and 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL share a accurate same 12.2-megapixel sensor. There’s no camera advantage to shopping up.

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Samsung’s Galaxy A9 comes out overhanging with 4 back cameras.


Aloysius Low/CNET

Cameras are a large deal. Along with battery life, photography is one of a categorical reasons because people select one phone over another. Phones with a brightest colors, deepest contrast, sharpest edges and brightest low-light shots can win a day. Extra facilities like mural photos, thespian lighting options, wide-angle selfies and automatic, AI-driven stage detection, can assistance phone-makers mount out from one another — or keep from descending serve behind their competitors.

There are a few reasons phones have a second, or even third, back lens. Many phones have a telephoto sensor, that can supplement abyss for mural photos and give we a improved design when we wizz in. An additional monochrome sensor can take black-and-white photos but requesting a filter, or be used to supplement sum that raise a tone picture. The triple-lens Huawei P20 Pro has all three.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

The LG V40′s 3 back cameras can concurrently snap a print from any lens, and we can collect your favorite. That’s some-more a program gimmick than an tangible benefit. And a rumored Galaxy A9 is pronounced to have an ultrawide lens in further to a “depth camera,” a telephoto lens and a 24-megapixel “main” sensor.

The fact that Google usually “needs” a singular back camera lens speaks to a program prowess. The tech titan, with a clearly vast resources, is distant forward of phone-makers when it comes to modernized design processing. 

Specifically, AI and appurtenance training are dual cutting-edge efforts in assisting computers make decisions on their own, for instance brightening a print formed on dim continue conditions. And Google says it’s complicated millions of photos on Google Images to rethink “how images are captured,” Google hardware SVP Rick Osterloh pronounced in Tuesday’s presentation.

Google has also given a Pixel 3 phones with additional or extended camera modes. Super Res Zoom creates a zoomed-in shot from mixed photos. Portrait mode lets we fine-tune a concentration point, abyss of margin and tone saturation. And low-light photos guarantee to be even brighter and improved than a Pixel 2′s already lauded low-light capabilities, but we ever branch on a peep — a underline Google dubs Night Sight. Top Shot picks your best print for we when we have suit mode on.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL’s dual 8-megapixel cameras get some-more of your friends and your credentials in your shot.


Sarah Tew/CNET

What about a Pixel 3′s dual selfie cameras?

Given Google’s unusual certainty in a singular back camera, it’s engaging that a Pixel 3 phones follow handsets like LG’s V40 to supplement a second camera on a face.

Last year’s single-lens Pixel 2 was one of a usually phones we used in 2017 that accurately kept my curly hair in concentration on a mural mode shot. Google achieved that attainment with program alone, so because is a second lens required now?

Google says that a wide-angle selfie cam, that it claims is 184 percent wider than a iPhone XS’ front-facing shooter, is designed to fit some-more of your friends (or your landscape) into a frame. We managed to fit 13 CNET editors into a selfie shot on a Pixel 3, so it’s off to a good start.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Some Pixel 3 camera tricks are still to come.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The watchful game

The doubt on my mind — and everybody else’s — is how good Google’s Pixel phones succeed. Is a singular camera unequivocally improved than dual or more? And that suggestive tricks and collection will a Pixel phones skip out on that other phones have?

Unfortunately, we have to wait. CNET’s Pixel 3 reviews are ongoing, and those camera comparison low dives we adore take time. Besides that, dual of a Pixel 3′s camera facilities (Night Sight and Top Shot) won’t be prepared until after a phones go on sale.

Until then, I’ll leave we with a sign that Google’s Pixel phones have an glorious photography lane record. In fact, we can’t consider of a singular mainstream phone personification during this high-end turn that doesn’t take superb cinema overall.

In other words, if you’re drawn to a Pixel 3 for a comparatively reduce price, timely Android updates and total storage on Google Photos, it’s a protected gamble that a photos will be good, even great. If you’re looking for professional-grade photography and wish to be totally sure, reason off grouping while we work on aspirant comparisons.

Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL

Read now: Hands-on with a Pixel 3 and 3 XL

Read next: Pixel 3 vs. iPhone XS vs. Galaxy S9

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