TL; DR

  • The latest version of the Google Camera App includes references to an “ultra-tele” camera and a “5X” zoom.
  • This strongly suggests that the Pixel 6 XL actually has a periscope camera, in line with previously leaked renders.

The Google Pixel 6 XL evolves into a photo upgrade for the Mountain View company, at least when it comes to leaks and rumors. Leaked renders show a triple rear camera that includes a periscope-style shooter, and it now looks like we have more evidence to support this addition.

XDA developer and the Google camera modder cstark27 discovered several references to “ultra-tele” zoom options and “5X” zoom in the latest Google Camera app update (version 8.3.252). Additionally, the developer has also found evidence that the true native zoom factor could actually be 4.3X.

There was no evidence tying the new ultra-telephoto or 5X zoom features specifically to the Pixel 6 XL, but it stands to reason that it does, as it looks like a periscope camera in leaked renders.

If this latest information and previous renders are correct, it means the Pixel 6 XL would be the first Pixel phone to feature a triple rear camera system. The Pixels used a single rear view camera system up to the Pixel 4 series, which opted for a dual camera setup (main and telephoto lens). Last years Pixel 5 kept a dual camera system, but swapped the telephoto lens for an ultra-wide-angle shooter.

A periscope camera would also open the door to better hybrid zoom on Pixel phones. Google uses Super res zoom Technology to enable better zoom images and the Pixel 4 combined that with a 2X telesensor to deliver Super Res zoom up to 8X. So it stands to reason that when we pair a periscope camera with Google’s hybrid zoom technology, we can see a decent 10x zoom and higher.

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