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Poll: Does your Pixel or other phone show lens flare in photos?

It occurs even in pics where the light source isn't visible.
By

Published onJune 22, 2023

google pixel 7 pro camera lens flare
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

I’ve taken over 4000 photos with my Pixel 7 Pro since I got it in early October 2023 — I travel a lot and attend many expos and events — and although I’m pretty satisfied with the versatility of its camera experience for my needs, I have come across an issue that’s irked me a bit: lens flare.

I noticed the flare the first weekend I was out with the Pixel 7 Pro. It was sunny with a few clouds, I was near a small river, and some of the pics I shot kept coming back with a terrible flare in the lower corners. I’m used to seeing flares when I point directly at bright lights, but not when those aren’t anywhere in the pic.

Over the months, this kept occurring in similar circumstances when there was an out-of-frame source of light (sun, mostly, but also street lights at night or indoor lighting) and a reflective material (water, glass, car windshields, or some metals). Check the samples below and spot the radial green-blue flare in the bottom corners.

A bit of Googling told me I’m not alone, though some people had already noticed it with the Pixel 6 Pro and other Pixels before that. I hadn’t. An online theory mentioned that a phone case could act as a mini lens hood, protecting the camera from the reflections that cause this flare. I tried a few cases, including ones that individually wrap around each lens of the Pixel 7 Pro, and could still reproduce the flare.

A quick discussion with my Android Authority colleagues revealed that they’ve noticed this too on different Android phones, though Samsung’s latest flagships like the S22 Ultra and S23 Ultra seem to be exempt. The “SuperClear” lens Samsung is using seems to have significantly reduced flares, even the ones that occur with the light source in the pic. vivo and ZEISS have been using a special lens coating to reduce reflections too, all while offering a cinematic flare mode in the camera app to add a fake flare (wait, what?!) as we noted in our Vivo X90 Pro review.

What about you? Have you also noticed this flare even in photos where the light source isn’t in the frame? And if so, was it on a Pixel phone or another brand of phones? Let us know in the poll and comments!

Have you noticed camera lens flare in your phone's photos?

1749 votes