The Pixel XL is one of two of the new smartphones that Google announced this morning as part of their hardware event. These are both smartphones which had been the subject of many rumors over the past few months, although those rumors have now come to an end with Google finally confirming all of the details surrounding these latest Android devices, including what is on offer in the camera department.
Now, on the face of it, it would seem that the camera area is one of the areas where there has been very little development happening across generations. While these are not Nexus smartphones per se, they do follow on from last year's Nexus range. The flagship offering then was the Nexus 6P and this was a smartphone which came equipped with a 12.3-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Which incidentally is the exact MP count for the cameras on the Pixel XL. So on the face of it, there is not a lot of improvement being noted here.
But that is on the face of it. One thing that is already obvious is that in spite of the Nexus 6P and the Pixel XL coming with similar camera MP counts, they do not come with the same internal camera aspects with clear preferential treatment in place for the Pixel XL and its 12.3-megapixel camera, which also includes large 1.55μm pixels that are designed to offer better image taking in any lighting conditions. As well as an f/2.0 aperture which will help to offer brighter images. The same can be said for the software tweaking which is also taken place with the new Pixels phones, as they look to offer a more user-friendly and effective experience when taking images. Some of the software improvement on offer include the likes of Smartburst and HDR+ – which is actually in use by default. This means that the user can expect to take images which see a reduction in noise, a minimizing of blur and an extended level of dynamic range. Not forgetting of course, that Google seems to be very proud of the improved video stabilization that is on offer with the video imagery being captured 200 times per second.
In fact, Google wanted to specifically highlight the camera capabilities of the Pixel XL (and the Pixel) and did note that the phone reprieved a DxOMark rating of 89, The highest rating given to a smartphone. So Google is looking to establish this as one of the best go-to smartphones of right now for those interested in mobile photography. To make the whole package even more worthwhile, Google has also announced that the Pixel XL (and the Pixel) come with free unlimited storage for images and videos through Google Photos. That is, free unlimited storage of all full resolution images and videos taken. So the owner of the Pixel XL will not have to be concerned about how much storage they have. As well as being able to take great images and videos, they will also be able to back up and store them through Google Photos in their original form for free.