C 2018
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In a world of multiple rear smartphone cameras, the Pixel 3 XL sticks with one

Google has not increased the rear camera count of its Pixel lineup this year. (Source: Google)
Google has not increased the rear camera count of its Pixel lineup this year. (Source: Google)
2018 is definitely the year of the at-least-three-camera phone. Some upcoming devices may have even more. However, Google seems content with the single rear shooter it has incorporated into the new Pixel 3 series.

Now that the LG V40 has been unleashed, and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s own rumored triple-camera setup is on its way, it seems we’re all looking at a future in which phones have backs like Argus’ face. However, the Pixel 3 XL has been revealed to buck this trend. It has only one rear-facing sensor.

As the larger of the two new Google phones, the Pixel 3 XL may have been the more likely one to sprout additional main cameras this time around. However, its single shooter has many interesting new features, most of which arise from Google’s AI. Its new ‘Top Shot’ feature takes a veritable stream of shots of the same subject, all of which are in HDR+. The AI can also select the best examples of these shots, retain them and delete the rest. Google claims that this has been developed using the same technology that “images the surface of Mars”.

The Pixel 3 XL also has an enhanced zoom and focus for subjects such as animals or children. Its Night Sight feature was shown to greatly enhance a low-light shot compared to the iPhone XS. This phone also has Playground, a new set of augmented reality features that now features characters from the Marvel universe, as well as a Childish Gambino variant that was reported as currently in the works in conjunction with Donald Glover.

Finally, the Pixel 3 XL has a dual front-facing shooter – although this one is described as having an 184% improvement in wide-angle terms for more expansive selfies.

A comparison between Night Sight and the iPhone XS' low-light performance. (Source: Google)
A comparison between Night Sight and the iPhone XS' low-light performance. (Source: Google)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 10 > In a world of multiple rear smartphone cameras, the Pixel 3 XL sticks with one
Deirdre O Donnell, 2018-10-10 (Update: 2018-10-10)