• Google’s very first in-house chipset, Pixel Visual Core, is finally enabled with the February 2018 Android security patch.
  • Pixel Visual Core is designed to compile HDR+ images five times faster than an application processor.
  • The company is bringing more AR Stickers to Pixel devices this week, too.


Following the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL announcement in October, Google also revealed that both smartphones featured a dormant chipset called Pixel Visual Core. The company enabled it for developers in late November, but everyone else was left waiting to take advantage of the chip’s image-enhancing abilities.

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Now, Google is enabling Pixel Visual Core for all Pixel 2 devices in the February 2018 Android security patch.

As noted in our detailed overview, Pixel Visual Core is Google’s very first in-house chipset, designed to compile HDR+ images five times faster than an application processor. It can also handle more complex imaging and machine learning tasks related to the camera. It’s built to do the heavy-lifting image processing while using less power, which will in turn save battery. This means the phone can use the additional computing power to improve images by running Google’s HDR+ algorithm.

What does that mean to the end user? Your Pixel 2 photos will be brighter, clearer, and more detailed. Check out some samples below:

That’s not all — Google is also adding new AR Stickers to Pixel devices starting this week. The new winter sports-themed stickers will allow you to add skiers, ice skaters, hockey players, and more to your photos and videos.

The February Android security update will begin rolling out to devices in the coming days. If you’re itching to try it out now, you can download factory images and OTA files at the links below:

You can find all the changes Google included in these updates in the Android and Pixel/Nexus Security Bulletins.