Google earlier this week unveiled the Pixel 3 phones, confirming almost all leaks we've seen in recent months. These leaks also showed that Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL would have a single camera on the back and two at the front, and exposed Google's new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) camera tricks before Google's announcement.
We wondered why Google would not add a second lens to the main camera well before the event, especially considering that the most important Pixel rivals have double and triple cameras – in fact, Samsung just revealed a phone with four cameras. It turns out that Google believes that another lens is "unnecessary" at this time.
Talked to Wired about the camera, Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz said that Google did not need a second lens. "We found that it was unnecessary," he said, claiming that the company's ML technology is enough to make up for a secondary camera.
Why is there a double camera on the front? As Google explained during the event, the only goal is to let people catch angles without the help of a self-stick.
The production price may also be related to Pixel 3's camera technology decisions, although there is probably nothing Google will admit. The 1
Other new camera tricks include a flicker sensor to prevent flicker effects under certain indoor lightning and a new Visual Core chip; Google's proprietary AI image processor it introduced last year. But Google probably had a Pixel single cam experience 3 years ago when it started designing the Pixel 3 camera.
"If the phone starts somewhere between 12 and 24 months in advance [of shipping]the camera starts six to eight months before," said Reynolds. "We have been thinking about the Pixel 3 camera for a long time, for sure more than a year."  It's also interesting to note, and is not featured in the Wired story, it's Google never mentioned a DxOMark rating for the Pixel 3 camera, while insisted on sharing those points under previous Pixel launches. Both Pixel and Pixel 2 achieved the best DxOMark points when launched, with each phone in short position in the top position of DxOMark's mobile rankings. And yet, not a look at Pixel 3.
It's doubtful for Pixel 3 to repeat that kind of performance, especially given that Google did not say anything about DxOMark. Currently, the Huawei P20 Pro is at the top (above) followed by iPhone XS Max. You know what these phones have in common? They each have more than one camera at the back. In fact, Pixel 2 is the only phone in the top 10 above to have a single lens main camera.
This does not mean Pixel 3 will not deliver an impressive camera experience, or DxOMark score actually means something. But that's an interesting detail anyway. If Google used DxOMark ratings to tell us that Pixel and Pixel 2 were the best mobile cameras in the world, the same standards of Pixel 3 and single-lens shooter just seem to fit.
You can read more about Pixel 3's new camera mode on Wired .