What you need to know

  • References to a rear telephoto lens were found in a teardown of version 6.3 of the Google Camera app.
  • A front-facing IR sensor was also mentioned in the code which could be used for facial recognition.
  • Previously, it was found that Night Sight is also being moved to a more prominent position in the Google Camera app.

The Pixel 4 is expected to launch later this year, and for the first time, Google will be adding more than one rear camera to the device. Back in June, in an unprecedented move, Google actually confirmed the rear design of the upcoming Pixel 4, showing off its massive camera bump housing two cameras and a third unknown sensor.

At the time, we were left to speculate what field of view the secondary camera may have. Would it be a zoom lens similar to what we've seen from Samsung or would it be an ultra-wide angle lens like previous LG flagships?

Now, we've learned that the secondary camera appears to be a telephoto lens. The revelation comes after the guys at XDA did some digging into the code of version 6.3 of the Google Camera app.

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Upon investigation, they uncovered changes in the code referencing "Sabre", which is Google's codename for its Super Res Zoom. Further inspection led to the discovery of some new sensor IDs for the camera which was not present in Google Camera 6.2.

One of these new sensor IDs makes reference to a rear telephoto lens, pretty much confirming the secondary camera will be a zoom lens. It's also possible that the zoom lens will make use of Google's Super Res Zoom technology to increase the zoom distance digitally.

A front-facing IR sensor was another one of the new IDs that was found present in the code. This seems to confirm the rumors that the Pixel 4 will include some sort of facial recognition, but it is unknown why this would be present in the camera app. Perhaps, Google will use it for in conjunction with its Playmojis or introduce its own line of Animojis.

So far, there has been a lot to learn from the latest version of the Google Camera app. Earlier we covered the changes coming to the UI where Night Sight is going to be given prominent placing in the new version of the app. One thing is for sure, the closer we get to release the more details will be revealed for Google's next big flagship.

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