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New Google Pixel 4 leak brings sad news for ultra-wide angle camera lovers

The Pixel 4 was officially teased by Google a  few weeks ago. (Source: Google)
The Pixel 4 was officially teased by Google a few weeks ago. (Source: Google)
The Pixel 4 phones are expected to debut in October. An official teaser a few weeks ago confirmed that the devices would feature two rear shooters and the argument until now has been about what kind of secondary shooter Google would use. New information indicates a telephoto lens, though, leaving lovers of ultra-wide angle lenses in quite the pickle.

The Pixel 3 phones were launched seven months ago, and we’re edging closer to the release of their successors. Leaks of the Pixel 4 phones have trickled down slowly over the past few months, and Google actually teased the devices officially a few weeks ago. In that teaser, the Pixel 4 was depicted with three rear sensors: two cameras and what could likely be a ToF sensor.

Of the two main sensors, the jury has been out on what the secondary sensor would be. There was the option of a telephoto lens, ultra-wide angle lens, or a monochrome sensor. New information points towards the first of the lot, though.

According to XDA-Developers, code on Google’s new update for the Google Camera—v6.3, to be precise—has the line _SABRE_UNZOOMED_TELEPHOTO. This is an obvious reference to the presence of a telephoto camera. Also supporting that idea is the fact that, on the list of sensor IDs, there’s mention of a “rear regular” sensor and a “rear telephoto” sensor. That’s two of the rear shooters accounted for, then.

The secondary wide-angle selfie shooter from the Pixel 3 phones will likely also make an appearance on the Pixel 4. There’s also mention of an IR sensor, perhaps for face unlock?

The debate over the real-life utility of a telephoto and ultra-wide angle lens has always been a heated one. We’re willing to admit that both are just as useful, and preference should very well be a matter of individual use-cases. 

On one hand, Google’s Super-Res Zoom manages to outdo some telephoto lenses, which says much about how good the company’s computational photography is. Some would cite that as a reason for the presence of a telephoto lens, showing that Google has noted the importance of zoom. On the flip side, Google already implemented a wide-angle lens on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, so the benefits of that photographic perspective are not lost to the company.

In any case, getting a secondary lens is always welcome, no matter which kind it turns out to be. Considering the existence of Super-Res Zoom, an ultra-wide angle lens may have been more useful, though. But then again, ultra-wide angle lenses don’t count in DxOMark’s evaluation, and the website’s camera scores are starting to have more impact than ever on public opinion of individual smartphone camera quality.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 07 > New Google Pixel 4 leak brings sad news for ultra-wide angle camera lovers
Ricci Rox, 2019-07- 7 (Update: 2019-07- 7)