Google Pixel 7 may not upgrade an important key feature over Pixel 6

Pixel 7 could use the same camera sensor as Pixel 6


Google managed to raise the level of smartphone camera performance with the Pixel 6 series in 2021 after falling behind in the years before that. In addition to the excellent image processing, the larger new 50MP GN1 sensor played a key role in this. Now it looks like the big G intends to continue the same camera setup on the Pixel 7 series this year.

Leaks Yogesh Brar claims that Google will “most likely” use the same optics on the Pixel 7 series as the Pixel 6. If the leak turns out to be accurate, the upcoming Google-branded phone will retain 50MP f / 1.85 GN1 primary and 12.5MP f / 2.2 ultra-wide sensors. Any image enhancement will come from Google, which further optimizes the sensor, its image processing, and leverages the more powerful ISP in this year’s Tensor chip.

Unlike most other Android manufacturers, Google does not usually upgrade the camera hardware on its Pixel phones every year. Instead, it further optimizes its algorithms to get the most out of the sensors. The company used Sony’s 12.2 MP Sony IMX363 sensor across four generations of its devices: Starting from Pixel 2 in October 2017 to Pixel 5 in 2020. In fact, if rumors are anything to go by, the upcoming mid-range Pixel 6a could actually very well use the same Sony shooter. This is despite the industry shifting to larger and higher resolution camera hardware with pixel binning – the best budget Android phones now come with 108 MP cameras.

The 50MP GN1 slider inside the Pixel 6 series is still among the best on the market, so there is no need to worry about the Pixel 7’s camera capabilities. The ultra-wide sensor may be a cause for concern as its performance on the Pixel 6 series was not great to begin with – it took more noisy and darker images than the primary shooter. Despite processing improvements with this generation of Pixel, there are only as many details that Google can extract from a smaller sensor.

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