google pixel xl initial review aa (25 of 48) camera

Google is trying to develop algorithms that could mathematically identify the arc-shaped flare that appears in some Pixel-captured photos and then remove it from images.

The Google Pixel camera is arguably one of the best mobile shooters in the market, but a halo-like ring cropping up under certain conditions is beginning to raise some eyebrows. Some early users of the Google Pixel phones have noticed a halo effect or lens flare when a light source points toward the Pixel camera.

One Google Pixel user took to Reddit to share photos exhibiting the halo flare recreated using a flashlight as the light source. The light must bounce off the camera at a certain angle to elicit the halo effect. Initial theories claim that the issue at hand is not faulty hardware but an oversight in how the camera and the 2.5D glass panel are positioned relative to each other.

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Lens flares happen occasionally in all types of cameras under direct sunlight or against other light sources. The flare exhibited by the Google Pixel phones, however, doesn’t creep into the photos taken using other handsets under similar conditions.

A Google employee confirmed the issue on the Pixel User Community forum and offered assurance that a fix is coming. The fix will be rolled out over the next few weeks in the form of a software update. However, users will need to use the HDR+ feature to enable the solution.

Whether Google’s knack for smart software can solve the issue, it remains to be seen.