New details about the camera sensors used in the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro, and Pixel tablet have been uncovered, suggesting minor upgrades for the Pixel 7 and the affordability of the Pixel tablet.
Last month, our APK Insight team was able to uncover some details about the specs and software features that Google has planned for the Pixel 7 series and Pixel tablet, thanks to an update to the Google Camera app.
On Twitter, Android researcher Kuba Wojciechowski has shared findings about the specific camera hardware that the next Pixels will use.
Pixel 7/7 Pro camera hardware
For starters, Kuba noted that the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will both use the Samsung 3J1 as a front-facing sensor, making them capable of 11MP selfie photos. This is a change from the Pixel 6 Pro, which used a similarly specced Sony IMX663.
We had previously reported that the two phones would likely use the same front sensor, as the Google Camera app lists both Pixel 7 models as offering 4K selfie video recording. By comparison, the Pixel 6 had a smaller, 8MP selfie camera compared to the Pixel 6 Pro’s 11MP front-facing sensor.
The more interesting tidbit for the front camera is that the Samsung 3J1 sensor, like the IMX663 before it, features dual-pixel autofocus (DPAF) capabilities. While DPAF is often used for creating spectacular portrait/bokeh photos, we’ve also learned that the camera’s depth data should also play a role in the face unlock system Google is still actively developing for the Pixel series.
Otherwise, it looks like the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro will have very similar camera hardware to the Pixel 6 series before it. The main sensor will still be the Samsung GN1weighing in at 50MP, partnered with the Sony IMX381 for the ultrawide. One difference Kuba noted is that the telephoto sensor this year will be the Samsung GM1 instead of the IMX586, though the two “are pretty similar in their performance.”
Pixel tablet camera hardware
Turning attention to the Pixel tablet (code-named Tangor), announced to be arriving next year, it seems Google is equipping it with two Sony IMX355 sensors — one on the front, one on the rear. These have been in Google hardware since 2018, powering selfies in phones like the Pixel 3 and Pixel 6. It also served as the rear camera for Google’s most recent tablet, the 2018 Pixel Slate.
These lower-end camera sensors point to the ways that Google may be planning to make the Pixel tablet easily affordable, albeit at the cost of losing the top-notch photography that the Pixel series has become known for. Kuba’s findings corroborate our reporting that the Pixel tablet would likely be missing quite a few Google Camera features, such as 4K recording, Audio Zoom, and Slow Motion.
Kuba also shared some findings about the Pixel device code-named “Lynx,” which we were first to report earlier this year. While it’s not yet clear what sort of device Lynx is intended to be, Google is reportedly equipping it with the same Samsung GN1 main sensor as the Pixel 6 and 7 series.
Where things begin to differ is in the inclusion of a Sony IMX787, speculated to be used for taking telephoto shots. This is particularly notable as the IMX787 is capable of taking 64MP shots with its 1/1.3-inch sensor, the same size as the Samsung GN1.
On the front, Lynx will reportedly feature the Sony IMX712 you ask. While this particular model has not yet been announced by Sony, it should be capable of 13MP photos. One possibility is that Lynx is simply a test bed for Google to experiment with newer camera hardware for the Pixel series, but there’s also a slim potential for there to be a Pixel device with even higher-end photography capabilities.
For the time being, though, all we can do is speculate until more evidence becomes available.
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