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The Google Pixel 3 XL might be a selfie-taking champion

The dual-camera setup on the front of the Pixel 3 XL could make your selfies shine.

Published onAugust 23, 2018

A closeup of the notch on a leaked Google Pixel 3 XL.
  • The leaked Google Pixel 3 XL units in the wild are telling us more about the device’s photography abilities.
  • The selfie cameras on the front of the device might be capable of delivering “Super Selfies.”
  • The single rear camera is already getting stellar “reviews,” and seems like it will continue the Pixel’s legacy as a photographer’s favorite.

With at least dozens of prototype units of the unreleased Google Pixel 3 XL floating around in the wild now, we are starting to see multiple sites with “reviews” of what the smartphone can do.

As one would expect, some of the reviews are focusing on the photography aspects of the Pixel 3 XL, and so far it seems like the device will once again be a photographer’s (and selfie-shooter’s) dream, via 9to5Google.

As we could already tell from the recent rash of leaked photos, the Google Pixel 3 XL bucks the industry’s multiple rear camera trend and sticks with a single lens. Although even mid-range devices are shipping with dual rear cameras — and more phones are likely coming with three rear cameras, like the HUAWEI P20 Pro — Google is forging ahead on its own path. According to early reviews of the prototype units, this decision was a good one, as shots (like those below, allegedly taken with the Pixel 3 XL) are looking amazing.

Google allegedly is including a new Visual Core chip with the Pixel 3 XL which will be used to make your photos look like a pro took them. According to the early reviews, the Visual Core chip goes beyond simply offering HDR Plus capabilities; however, we’re not sure what exactly that means. As of now, the Visual Core chip is mysterious and we won’t know quite what it does until Google reveals the info.

It’s likely that the Visual Core uses AI to make your shots really pop, not unlike the camera capabilities on recent LG flagships, like the LG G7 ThinQ.

While the single rear camera is looking awesome, the front-facing cameras are looking really interesting as well.

Ukrainian black market seller probably responsible for rash of Pixel 3 XL leaks
A leaked image of the box contents of the Google Pixel 3 XL.

According to sources claiming to be familiar with Google’s plans, the pair of cameras in the display notch of the Pixel 3 XL work together to create what the company is referring to as “Super Selfies.” With one of the front-facing cameras being a wide-angle lens, selfies taken with the Pixel 3 XL can have proper bokeh effects (enhanced digitally, of course). The wide-angle lens will also allow for better zoom.

The revamped camera app will also allegedly have new settings for artificial “beautification” features, known as face retouching. With the new camera app working with the newly-enhanced pair of front-facing cameras, you’ll be able to better control the retouch effects so it looks more natural.

It is also possible that the dual-cameras on the front could make for a more secure and/or faster face unlock feature set. However, none of the prototypes seem to have any kind of advanced face unlock; they all still have the normal “Trusted Face” feature that most Android handsets already have.

Since the Pixel 3 XL’s out in the wild are officially prototypes, any of this information could still change between now and October when the device will officially launch. However, it’s probably a safe bet that the next line of Pixel devices will also be terrific for photos, just like the Pixel 2 and the original Pixel.

What do you think? Are you excited for the Pixel 3 XL for photography purposes? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: The Pixel 3 XL leaks aren’t stopping: More info on USB Type-C Pixel Buds, Google Camera update