Despite the numerous leaks, there are still quite a few things we don’t know about the upcoming Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. The latest Google Camera update offers some insight into the Pixel 6 series specs, including screen resolution, flash for the selfie camera, and more.
About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Pixel 6 camera tidbits
Earlier this year, we reported based on the Google Camera app that the Pixel 6 would adopt a centered punch hole for the selfie camera, a detail that has since been proven out by renders of the phone. With Google Camera 8.3, rolling out now as part of Android 12 Beta 3, we find more about the Pixel 6 series cameras.
First, in code that handles where the front-facing camera is located in relation to your screen, we find that the Pixel 6’s selfie camera should be located 540 pixels from the left edge. Meanwhile, the Pixel 6 Pro — or Pixel 6 XL, depending on who you ask — will have its front camera placed 722 pixels from the left.
If we assume that these selfie cameras will be placed at the center of the phone, we can speculate that the Pixel 6’s resolution should be 1080p, while the Pixel 6 Pro should have a resolution just over 1440p.
As for the hole punches themselves, we previously reported the Pixel 6 would have a slightly smaller hole for the selfie camera — 55 pixel diameter, versus 65 on Pixel 5. With this latest Google Camera update, we find that the Pixel 6 Pro will actually have a larger hole in the display for the selfie camera — 70 pixel diameter, versus 65.
4K selfie videos
Digging deeper into why the selfie camera cutout is larger, we find that the Pixel 6 Pro has a special “p21_front_setup” feature that isn’t enabled for the smaller Pixel 6. Based on this, we were able to confirm that only the Pixel 6 Pro will be able to record selfie videos in 4K, a feature we previously reported on.
Elsewhere in the Pixel 6 series features, there is evidence that Google may be adding a front-facing flash LED. Currently, Google Camera is able to give you a beige flash effect by brightening the screen. Instead, the Pixel 6 is preparing for a “front torch,” which we believe may be a proper flash for your selfie camera.
While a built-in selfie light is almost unheard of on Android — outside of a few oddball phones like the BLU VIVO XL4 — it could make a great deal of sense for some, considering how popular selfie light accessories have become.
Improved video zoom
Another tidbit we discovered about the Pixel 6 series is that it will offer up to 7x zoom while recording videos, even while recording at 60 frames per second. For comparison, last year’s Pixel 5 only offers 3x zoom at 60fps and 5x zoom at 30fps.
As tipped to XDA by cstark27, there are also mentions in Google Camera to an “ultratele” camera that should offer 5x telephoto zoom to an upcoming Pixel phone. While recent renders have pointed to the Pixel 6 Pro having three rear camera sensors, we weren’t able to definitively connect this 5x zoom “ultratele” to any particular phone.
No Super Res Zoom?
Oddly, “SABRE_ALLOWED” is disabled, meaning the Pixel series signature Super Res Zoom — which uses machine learning to fill in details of photos as though you had a telephoto lens — may not be enabled on Pixel 6. In a way, this could make sense, as the Pixel 6 series is currently rumored to offer a major upgrade to the camera hardware, including the previously mentioned “ultratele” sensor.
That said, we find a variety of other machine learning-related features enabled for the Pixel 6, so it’s possible that “Sabre” is simply getting replaced by a newer version of Super Res Zoom.
Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.
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