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Google Pixel 4 may have a telephoto lens



When Google released its first Pixel smartphones back in 2016, the company showed just how far ahead its camera software was from the rest of the competition. Google has continued to impress with its Pixel cameras thanks to new features like Night Sight and Super Res Zoom, but the rest of the smartphone world is catching up to Google if not surpassing them already in areas like zoom and low-light. Thus far, the Google Pixel smartphones have stayed competitive with only a single rear camera on each model, but Google has already confirmed that’s going to change with the 2019 Pixel. The Google Pixel 4 will have at least 2 rear cameras, and thanks to code we discovered in the latest Google Camera app, it’s looking like Google will introduce a telephoto lens on the next Pixel.

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Google Camera 6.3 Leaks from Android Q Beta 5
Nearly 4 months ago, Google released the first public preview of the next major Android release: Android Q. The company has promised 6 public betas before the first Android Q stable release goes live in Q3 of this year. Android Q beta 4 rolled out early last month and the fifth beta should be released soon, but some lucky users have already received the next beta. This early release of Android Q beta 5 had a build number of QP1A.190626.001 and the August 2019 security patches. That means the build was not only made fairly recently, but it was also not intended to be released to the public. Fortunately for us, one of the users who received the OTA shared the updated version of the Google Camera app, version 6.3, over on APKMirror which we examined to look for clues about the Pixel 4.

Google Pixel 4 – “Rear Telephoto” Sensor ID?
While looking through the code, we spotted changes to “Sabre,” Google’s internal code-name for Super Res Zoom. A new field called “SABRE_UNZOOMED_TELEPHOTO” immediately caught our attention, which then led us to another interesting discovery: new Google Camera sensor IDs. We confirmed that these new fields are not present in Google Camera 6.2.

The list of sensor IDs includes a “front IR” sensor, a “front regular” sensor, a “front wide” sensor, a “rear regular” sensor, and a “rear telephoto” sensor. There are also “front logical” and “rear logical” sensors, but “logical” most likely refers to a “logical camera device composed of two or more physical camera devices pointing in the same direction” per Android 9 Pie’s multi-camera API. The Google Pixel 3 has dual front cameras (one “regular” main lens and one wide-angle lens) and a single rear camera, so the only two IDs out of the ordinary in this list are the “front IR” sensor and the “rear telephoto” sensor.


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