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Major Pixel 6 camera upgrades are hinted, but by a sketchy source

By Nadeem Sarwar May 19, 2021, 2:21 pm
Pixel 6 Pro

The Pixel 6 series is going to bring some major changes. And I am not just talking about the divisive design with that huge camera bump at the back. A lot is going to change inside, especially in the camera department. If leaks – one from a sketchy source and the other from a credible one – are anything to go by, Google is finally going to join the megapixel wars for smartphone camera sensors with the Pixel 6 series.

A tipster going by the username @heyitsyogesh has tweeted that PVT (Product Validation Test) units of Pixel 6 Pro feature a large Sony sensor with supposedly a 50-megapixel resolution. It is accompanied by a wide-angle lens, a color correction sensor, and a telephoto camera with folded lens/periscope design that offers a 5x optical zoom range.

Additionally, reliable leakster Max Weinbach has separately claimed that the Pixel 6 Pro will indeed feature a new camera sensor. What is interesting to note is that the tipster claims Pixel 6 Pro’s camera hardware has been finalized and the production run begins in August. To recall, Google has also teased that the Pixel 6 series will make its debut at an event on September 30, so a planned mass production in August makes some sense.

A camera upgrade is long overdue for Pixels

Ever since the first Pixel came out, Google has held on to a 12MP wide-angle camera sensor and has kept optimizing its output while working its computational photography magic. Yes, the camera performance has kept on improving over the years, but not as drastically as competitors like Samsung and HUAWEI. Google was late to the dual-camera party too, and has also missed the existing trend of having three (four or even five) rear cameras, especially a more capable telephoto lens with a periscope design for a higher zoom range.

Pixel 6 series
Alleged Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro renders (Credit: Jon Prosser x RendersByIan)

Apple is the only other major brand that is yet to embrace the periscope camera trend, but that might change as early as next year. Yes, Google has done a terrific job with software tuning, but that too hits a ceiling without upgrading the hardware. With the Pixel 6 Pro, Google has an opportunity to finally offer a powerful and versatile camera hardware that can go head-to-head against the likes of Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and iPhone 12 Pro when it comes out later this year.


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