Pixel 2; best smartphone camera?


Google just launched its flagship device, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and the single most notable feature that sets it apart from its predecessors as well as other recent flagship devices, is that it only has one camera. Google claims its tech is so goo, it only needs one!

These devices are the first phones to launch with Google Lens, a camera feature that sees the object you put the camera on and helps you take action accordingly, whether its pulling up an address, phone number or calling to make a reservation.

To Google, the new Pixels' most important feature is the camera, which appears in both the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and Google hopes it can top the best-in-class low-light photography of last year's Pixel and beat out the fine-detail quality and portrait modes of phones that have two camera lenses. All while doing the work with just one camera -- that's right, neither of the new phones have dual cameras.

Single-lens, with 'better' portrait mode and OIS

Unlike most recent smartphone devices, the Pixel 2 phones don't come with a dual camera set up. Its new Portrait Mode feature, renamed from last year's Lens Blur, works just as smooth with one lens as other phones that use two.

Using a combination of intelligent facial algorithms and a depth-mapping image sensor, the Pixel 2's camera renders blurred backgrounds for a dramatic, short depth-of-field effect.

Google also added lots of tech for image stabilization. In addition to optical image stabilization (OIS) for photos and video, the camera uses data from the gyroscope and peeks at the video frame ahead to stabilize footage.  So even video content with lots of movement will still look high quality.

More Camera Features

Google also widened the camera's aperture from f2 to f1.8. This lets in a tiny bit more light for better quality images and video.

Motion Photos (similar to the iPhone's Live Photos) records a video for 1.5 seconds before and after a single shot. It then trims them and loops them into a slightly moving, live image. Google claims that it improved its HDR+ in the Pixel 2 with increased dynamic range and better noice reduction.

The camera is optimized to support AR and is equipped with AR stickers that are 3D elements and characters that move around and interact with real-life environments!

One of the best features of the Google Pixel 2 is the unlimited cloud-storage for photos. Photos will be stored there with original resolution, so no quality will be lost.

Google Lens

Both Google Assistant and the camera's Photo app are integrated with Google Lens. As briefly mentioned above, Google Lens scans what it sees through your camera and tells you more about the world around you. If you wanted to know more about a restaurant, painting, or film, simply tap the Lens icon and Lens will call up info about it.

Shop protective cases for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL here.