Pixel 6a may not inherit Pixel 6’s Motion Mode images

A bit of code in the Pixel Tips app indicates that the feature may not be supported on Pixel 6a

Google Pixel-6a rendering

Although Google Pixel 6a will share some of its hardware with Google’s Pixel 6 flagships, at least one camera feature will not seep down to the middle phone. According to a recently discovered piece of code, Pixel 6a may not support Pixel 6’s motion picture modes to capture moving objects with blurry effects.

The change was detected by Cuba Wojciechowsk, and further confirmed and confirmed by Esper.ios Mishaal Rahman (via XDA). The “smoking gun” here is a bit of logic in the Pixel Tips app, which indicates that a Motion Mode-related tip is set not to be displayed on “bluejay” devices – the hardware code name for the upcoming Pixel 6a, as for recently appeared in a carrier inventory system. The only reason we can think about why the Pixel Tips app programmatically excludes the display of Motion Mode tips on Pixel 6a is if the phone cannot use these features.

Pixel 6a is expected to share the same Tensor chipset that drives the more expensive Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, but the camera hardware will differ, with Pixel 6a expected to continue to use the same primary sensor as last year’s Pixel 5a (though possibly has an upgraded ultra-wide sensor). The motion mode features may be disabled due to a sensor hardware limitation, as the IMX 363, which is expected to be used in Pixel 6a, dates back to 2016. Google does not historically shy away from transferring newer features to lower-end phones when technically possible.

Action Pan (left) and Long Exposure (right).

Motion Mode itself provides two slightly different camera features on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro: Action Pan and Long Exposure. Each of them works in much the opposite way to add motion blur to parts of an image. Action Pan mimics the effect of a panning image to blur a background, giving a sense of speed to the subject in focus, while Long Exposure blurs a moving subject while keeping the rest of the scene sharp. These are fun features, but the Pixel 6a can jump out of them.

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