The new Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL feature updated cameras that now pack in OIS and the same 12MP sensor, though Google has made plenty of amendments to the software, and while this is all well and good, the proof, as they say, is always in the pudding. If you ask Google, the Pixel 2 camera is a combination of the hardware with its computational intelligence.
Both phones use the same 12-megapixel rear camera, and have received an unprecedented overall DxOMark test score of 98 — that’s four points higher than the previous leaders, the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.
Google Pixel 2 Camera Samples
The Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL possessed an insanely capable camera, potentially one of the best in the business last year, so expectation was very high ahead of the launch of the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL.
And now we have the first series of raw, unedited shots from a Google Pixel 2 handset. As you can see, the images look stunning, so it looks like whatever Google has done under the hood has worked.
As you can see, image detail, coloring, and the overall quality of the shots is superb. What’s also interesting is just how good the portrait mode shots look, when so many dual-lens cameras tend to fudge this type of shot.
The Pixel 2’s dual-camera, combined with Google’s new software, appears to yield seriously impressive results versus similar handsets on market, so while the dual-lens tech is new to Pixel phones, it appears Google has a strong command over the software which powers it.
Google Pixel 2 Camera Specifications
The Google Pixel 2 camera is now powered by a new, 12.2-megapixel image sensor of an as-yet-unknown build. In all likelihood, it is a Sony-sourced unit just like last year’s, along with added enhancements. The sensor is now a Dual Pixel unit, which means that every pixel in the sensor is subdivided into two smaller pixels, and each of these sub-pixels add to the phase detection autofocus performance of the camera. Because of the larger number of phase detection pixels on board (all the pixels against roughly 10 percent of pixels on a non-Dual Pixel sensor), the Pixel 2 camera should theoretically be much faster in terms of autofocus performance.
The size of each pixel is now smaller than that on the first generation Pixel – 1.4um, against the 1.55um pixels on the Pixel. Google now uses an f/1.8 lens instead of an f/2.0 lens for letting in more light, as well as obtaining a shallower depth of field naturally. Alongside, Google has included optical stabilization as well as electronic stabilization to the rear camera, and to assist the Dual Pixel phase detection autofocus, has also included a laser-assisted autofocus module.
On top of all these physical elements, Google is bringing its AI and AR trickery to the Pixel cameras. The Pixel 2’s ISP will be backed by machine learning algorithms, and Google will use it for depth sensing, shooting in Auto-HDR, and even reducing noise in low light conditions.
Google Pixel 2 Camera Ratings
Before we get to the ratings, let’s have a look at the concise specs of the Google Pixel 2 camera:
- 1/2.6-inch 12MP sensor
- f/1.8 aperture
- Dual-Pixel Autofocus
- Optical Image Stabilization
- HDR+ technology
- New Portrait Mode software solution
The Google Pixel 2 not only takes the DxOMark Mobile scoring crown with a stunning Overall score of 98, but its video performance improves by 5 points over the original Pixel, putting it at 96 and at the top of our video ranking. The Pixel 2’s photo performance is really impressive at 99, and just one point short of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which scored an amazing 100 in their photo category.
With a score of 96, the Pixel 2 is the current leader in the DxOMark Mobile video ranking and delivers an impressive video performance, with only a few small flaws. Exposure is good in almost all lighting conditions, with quick transitions between lighting levels. Autofocus is very fast, smooth, and stable — including subject tracking. The Pixel 2 also does an excellent job at balancing detail preservation and noise reduction — among the best ever seen.