The camera in a smartphone is one of its most important features, and Google is not messing around with the camera in its Pixel smartphone lineup.
That began with the original models last year and the trend continues with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, which will officially go on sale this Friday, October 19. When owners start getting their hands on the new flagships, they’ll see even better HDR+ photos from the built-in camera. And Google is making that possible with machine learning, the hardware itself, and the software. But it also developed its own co-processor to help with the task.
Google today officially unveiled its custom Pixel Visual Core co-processor. The SoC is designed to help off-load some of the work needed to create such amazing pictures taken with the newest Pixel smartphones. With it, Google can get more power-efficient HDR+ processing while at the same time handling the most challenging of image rendering and processes tied to machine learning.
The Pixel Visual Core is built into every single Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL unit. But this is Google we’re talking about, so just getting the best possible images out of the built-in camera isn’t good enough. The Pixel Visual Core co-processor will be turned on through a software update along with the public launch of Android 8.1 Oreo and will allow third-party applications to take advantage of the better HDR+ photos.
You can see the results in the image just above. On the left, the image was snapped with a third-party camera app on the Pixel 2. Meanwhile, on the right is a photo snapped with the Pixel 2 using the Pixel Visual Core. The difference is pretty stunning.
As mentioned above, the Pixel Visual Core isn’t active just yet. It will go live with the upcoming Android 8.1 Oreo Developer Preview, which will launch in the coming weeks. Google will let it loose for all Pixel 2 owners with third-party apps through the stock camera API.
The camera in the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are already getting praised quite a bit in initial reviews for both devices, so knowing that it will get even better in the coming weeks is pretty exciting for owners of the new flagships.
Did you pre-order the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL?