Pixel 3's lonely rear camera makes a brazen phrase for any phone with two rear cameras or more: "Google's single lenses are better than all your fancy cameras combined."
They battle words in a landscape where a dual camera layout is now so sought after, even budget phones like the Moto G6 has two lenses for portrait images. With Pixel 3 andGoogle is now the only major answering machine whose most advanced device has only one rear camera. Case in point: iPhone XS has two, Huawei P20 Pro and boasts three, and has a jaw-dropping four cameras on the back.
Cameras are a big deal. Along with battery life, photography is one of the main reasons why people choose one phone over another. Images with the most vibrant colors, deepest contrast, sharpest edges and lightest light with low light can win the day. Additional features like portrait images, dramatic lighting options, wide-angle folders and auto AI-driven scene detection can help phones stand apart ̵
Telephone Makers have been known to reserve a second lens for the more advanced model of a set. For example, the Galaxy S9 and iPhone XR single lenses, while the Galaxy S9 Plus and iPhone XS have two each. But Google Pixel 3 and larger Pixel 3 XL share exactly the same 12.2 megapixel sensor. There is no camera advantage to buy "bigger". It is also worth noting that Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL both havebut I will come on later.
There are some reasons why the phones have a second, or even third, rear lens. Many phones have a phone sensor that can add depth to portrait photos and give you a better picture when zooming in. An additional monochrome sensor can take black and white images without using a filter, or used to add details that enhance a color image. The triple lens Huawei P20 Pro has all three.
The LG V40's three rear cameras can simultaneously get a photo from each lens and you can choose your favorite. It's more a software gimmick than an actual advantage. And the rumoris said to have an ultra-brilliant lens in addition to a "deep camera", a telephoto lens and 24 megapixel "head" sensor.
Google's commitment to betting on the cyclical lens farm is a game of confidence in the company's hardware quality and software strength. It only needs one camera, pixel 3 suggests, because Google's process is better. Technical titanium, with its seemingly unlimited resources, is far ahead of call centers in advanced image processing.
In particular, AI and machine learning are two groundbreaking measures to help computers make decisions alone, such as shining a picture based on dark weather conditions. And Google says that millions of images have been studied on Google Images to review "how photos are taken," said Google Hardware SVP Rick Osterloh in Tuesday's presentation.
Google has also provided its Pixel 3 phones with additional or enhanced camera modes. Super Res Zoom creates a still image from multiple images. Portrait mode allows you to fine tune the focus point, depth of field and color saturation. And low light photos promise to be even lighter and better than Pixel 2's already low light without ever turning on the flash – a feature of Google Dubs Night Sight. Top Shot picks your best picture for you when you have motion mode.
What about Pixel 3's two selfie cameras?
Given God's extraordinary confidence in his only rear camera, it is interesting that the Pixel 3 phones follow phones like the LG V40 to add a second camera to the face.
Last year's single-lens Pixel 2 was one of the only phones I used in 2017 that precisely held my curly hair in focus on a portrait mode shot. Google achieved the feat of software alone, so why is there another lens needed now?
Google says that the wide-angle self-viewer, as it claims is 184 percent wider than the iPhone XS forward-looking shooter, is designed to fit more of your friends (or your landscape) into the frame. We managed to fit 13 CNET editors to a self-image on Pixel 3, so that's fine.
The question in my mind – and everyone else's – is how good Google Pixel phones are going to succeed. Is the simple camera really better than two or more? And what meaningful tricks and tools will the Pixel phones miss on the other phones?
Unfortunately we have to wait. CNET Pixel 3 reviews are ongoing and the camera comparison diver dives you love to take time. In addition, two of Pixel 3's camera features (Night Sight and Top Shot) will not be ready until the phones go on sale.
Until then, I remind you that Google's Pixel phones have an excellent photography track record. In fact, I can not think of a regular mainstream phone that plays on this high-end level that does not take awesome photos in general.
In other words, if you're attracted to Pixel 3 for its relatively lower price, timely Android updates and unlimited storage on Google Photos, it's a safe option that your photos will be great, as well. If you are looking for professional photography and want to be absolutely sure, keep your cancellation while we work with competing comparisons.
First published October 11, 7.00 PT.
Update, ] October