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Latest Pixel 3 leak reveals an annoying case of camera hypocrisy

Published Aug 24th, 2018 8:39AM EDT
Pixel 3 XL Release Date
Image: Rozetked

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Someone stole a bunch of Pixel 3 XL units well ahead of Google’s official launch, and sold them on the black market. That explains why we’ve seen plenty of detailed hands-on reviews of the phones nearly two months before Google’s is expected to release them. However, not all new Pixel 3 leaks come from those Russian and Ukrainian sources, and we’ve got a brand new report that details the cameras of the phone, revealing that the Pixel 3 phones may suffer from a strange form of camera hypocrisy.

The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will only feature single-lens cameras on the back, even though most competitors have dual-lens shooters. And we already have a triple-cam phone out there, with more in the works for next year. It’s unclear why Google is doing it, but a source told 9to5Google that Google has considered bragging about the use of a single camera on the back with “you only need one” marketing messages. We’ve also seen a bunch of photos taken with the phone, and they look great.

But a different source revealed that the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones will have dual front-facing cameras, as Google wants to offer users better selfies. According to the report, the new Pixels will have a “Super Seflie” feature, with one of the two front-facing cameras having a wide-angle lens. The resulting images may be similar to other faux bokeh implementations.

We already know the Pixel 3 is copying the iPhone X in at least two significant ways, including the notch design and the new gestures used for navigating the UI. So we’ll now remind you that the iPhone X uses a dual camera setup for selfies, and maybe that’s why Google wants a dual shooter on the front of the Pixel 3 phones. The report says the selfie cams may improve facial recognition, but that’s far from being confirmed. There’s nothing to suggest the Pixel 3 can do 3D face recognition like the iPhone X.

Getting back to the Pixel 3, it looks like Google thinks it needs more cameras to improve pictures taken with the selfie cam. But then it wants to tell us that a single rear camera is enough to deliver great photos? So more is more, but less is also more?

Yes, the same report notes that Google has a brand new camera on the back of the phone, as well as an improved Visual Core chip that should further enhance photography. Google is “doubling down on making a single camera powerful enough to not need a second camera.” The rear camera should have a 12.2-megapixel sensor, while the two selfie cams each pack 8.1-megapixel sensors.

So there you have it. Less is indeed more unless less isn’t enough and more is needed for more to be more.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.