The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones ship with a really capable camera setup, both its front-facing and rear-facing cameras are quite compelling, and Google actually relies on its software algorithms quite a bit when it comes to capturing images, so the company has decided to share some more info on the "Top Shot" feature of its Pixel 3 smartphones. So, what is Top Shot? Well, it's a feature that analyzes image frames before and after you hit the shutter button in the camera application, and it uses real-time computer vision techniques in order to do that. After it's done processing, it will recommend you a number of high-quality HDR+ photos to choose from, so just in case you were not able to capture your kid at the right time when you pressed the button, it's quite possible that Google's Top Shot feature did the job for you before or after you did that. We all know what it feels like to take a picture of someone who just can't seem to sit still, or perhaps moving objects.
The company says that each image is analyzed in real-time, and is associated with some additional signals, like the optical flow of the image, gyro data, exposure time, and so on, in order to form the input features used to score the frame quality. The Top Shot feature essentially captures up to 90 images from 1.5 seconds before and after you press the shutter button, though it will not present all 90 for you, of course. Now, as far as the processing of those images is concerned, Google is utilizing its Visual Core, which is included in both the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Thanks to that visual core, image processing for Top Shot is done in the background, so it does not really drain your battery or anything of the sort. Top Shot uses a hardware-accelerated MobileNet-based single shot detector (SSD), says Google. Google actually shared plenty more technical details in its own post, in case you'd like to know more about Top Shot.
Camera Is Pixel 3's Bright Spot, But There Are Many Issues
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have been praised in some ways, but many would agree that Google could have done a lot better when it comes to these two smartphones. Both devices have been plagued with issues since they became available, pretty much. To give you a couple of examples, the Google Pixel 3 XL basically started "growing" a second display notch for some people, both devices had memory management issues (though that seems to be fixed now), call quality issues have also been reported by many people, while the latest reports claim that users are having issues with fingerprint scanner gestures as well. All in all, these two devices should have been the best representation of Android out there, but they have kind of failed in that area. Many people are putting some other phones ahead of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, even when it comes to software, and they're definitely not the best-looking smartphones out there, but they're still amongst the best camera smartphones in the market, though. Google promised fixes for a number of issues that are plaguing both devices, but those issues were not supposed to happen in the first place, especially so many of them, Google will hopefully learn its lesson this time around, and do better next year.
Google Pixel 3 vs Pixel 3 XL
The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are quite similar on the inside, as the only differences between these two devices come down to battery size, display size and resolution. On the outside, however, they're somewhat different, at least when the front side of both devices is concerned. For the Pixel 3, Google opted not to include a display notch, which is probably a better idea than including such a large, quite unsightly notch on the Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel 3 XL probably has the tallest notch in the industry, or at least one of the tallest ones, and it is quite annoying as it is obstructing the content, it's really difficult to ignore. The back side of both phones is identical, both ship with a single rear-facing camera, and a rear-facing fingerprint scanner. Both phones are fueled by the same processor, the Snapdragon 845, while both come with 4GB of RAM on the inside. The Pixel 3 XL has a much larger display than the Pixel 3, but it also comes with a much larger footprint than its sibling. If you'd like to know more about the two phones, check out our full review.