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Google’s Pixel 6 XL might come with the company’s best zoom lens

The Google Pixel 6 could be Google’s first Pixel to ship with a 5x “ultra tele” camera, a new app teardown from XDA Developers implies.

This report comes from code found in Google’s camera app in the Android 12 beta, references were found to a toggle for a new zoom lens, likely set for one of Google’s next Pixel phones. In said code, references were found to the “ultratele”, as well as 5x zoom more than a few times. More references noted the camera would have an actual optical zoom level — a measure of the number of times the camera can zoom in before it resorts to digitally cropping images — of 4.3x, a major upgrade over the Pixel 4’s real optical zoom level of 1.4x.

As for which Pixel would be equipped with the aforementioned camera capability, it is likely to be the larger Pixel, previously said to be the Pixel 6 Pro but more likely to ship as the Pixel 6 XL. As reported by reliable leaker Jon Prosser, the Pixel is said to have a 50MP wide camera with a 48 MP telephoto and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens. Prosser also pegs Google to be dropping telephoto for the smaller Pixel and going with the much-lauded wide and ultra-wide combination that shipped in the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G.

Google’s Pixels have typically been great for taking still shorts and portrait images, but it has fallen far behind on optical zoom. Even with the software-powered super-resolution zoom and the telephoto hardware chops of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.Google fell far below the standards set by Samsung and even OnePlus as far as zooming goes. With the Pixel 6 and 6 XL, the company has a chance to steal its crown back.

Google’s Pixel 6 comeback goes beyond the camera. To recap the specs of the Pixel 6 and 6 XL (or 6 Pro), the smaller Pixel will have a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a battery with 4,601mAh. The Pixel 6XL will have a larger 6.71-inch P-OLED display, 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, and a 5000mAh battery. Google is expected to launch both these phones in October.

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