The launch of the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL marks a significant milestone for the smartphone industry and for Google. For starters, these are the first two devices ever that are being marketed as being exclusively "made by Google." Sure, we've had the Nexus lineup for years, but that one was neither exclusively branded by Google, nor heavily marketed to the average consumer. As it turns out, the Google Pixel and the Google Pixel XL check both of those boxes. In addition to that, these flagships also manage to further advance the already quite impressive mobile camera tech. Not only does Google's latest phones boast the highest camera rating ever given by DxOMark — 89 points — but they also actually deliver in real-life situations.
Now, how did Google manage to achieve these impressive results when its phones are only equipped with a 12.3-megapixel rear camera? Well, because it's not all about the MP count, the size of the sensor is just as important and the Google Pixel sensor measures an impressive 1.55-micron pixels. Simply speaking, a larger sensor allows more light to hit it so when you combine that with Phase-Detection Auto-Focus (PDAF) and the fact that the Sony IMX378 boasts an aperture of f/2.0, you get fantastic images even in low-light conditions. This performance is also made possible by an always-on HDR feature and elimination of any trace of shutter lag which Google managed to achieve while designing its very first smartphone.
If you're still not convinced that the Google Pixel offers what's probably the best consumer smartphone camera ever created, check out the two YouTube clips below. Published a couple of days ago, these videos demonstrate how the Google Pixel XL handles 4K video recording with electronic image stabilization (EIS) and also tests its overall low-light performance while shooting 4K videos at dusk. The results of these tests are all the more impressive when you consider the fact that Google's latest flagship doesn't feature traditional optical image stabilization (OIS) which manufacturers usually utilize to mechanically compensate for camera shaking. Instead, the Mountain View tech giant managed to implement an entirely software-based solution which performs significantly better than most other alternatives on the market.