Major Google Pixel 8 leak reveals all the camera upgrades on the way

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Jun 11, 2023

As the months roll round to the expected October launch window for the Google Pixel 8, we’re hearing more and more rumors about what the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will bring with them. And today, we’re talking about the cameras.

According to Android Authority, the Pixel 8 series is going to bring with it a significant upgrade in the camera department. Specifically, the main Samsung ISOCELL GN1 sensor is apparently going to be swapped out for the larger Samsung ISOCELL GN2 upgrade.

That larger sensor means around 35% more light can be captured – not only does that ensure better performance in low light scenarios, it also means faster shutter speeds (and less motion blur) no matter what the lighting conditions.

Ultrawide and telephoto

There’s more: on the Pixel 8 Pro, the ultrawide sensor is said to be getting an upgrade from the 12MP Sony IMX386 to the 64MP Sony IMX787 – that happens to be the primary camera sensor that you’ll find in the Google Pixel 7a.

Google is also making the lens on top of the sensor wider, the report says, allowing more of a scene to be captured. And while the ultrawide camera sensor on the Pixel 8 is reportedly the same 12MP Sony IMX386 on the Pixel 7, again the lens is supposed to be wider on the upcoming phone.

As for the telephoto zoom camera on the Pixel 8 Pro, it’s expected to match the 5x zoom 48MP Samsung GM5 sensor on the Pixel 7 Pro. The Pro model is also being tipped to get a better time-of-flight (ToF) sensor to improve autofocus, which all adds up to a serious set of upgrades – especially on the Pro edition.

Analysis: Google looking to impress again

Throughout the history of the Pixel series, the phones have usually impressed in terms of their photo and video capturing capabilities, even if the underlying hardware hasn’t matched the components on phones made by the likes of Apple and Samsung.

That has primarily been down to Google’s expertise in the field of computational photography: the way that images are processed and optimized in order to produce the best results from the raw data captured through the camera hardware.

In recent years, Google’s rivals have caught up in these image processing techniques, so it seems important for the Pixel 8 to come with upgraded camera components – as well as, we’re hoping, upgraded photo and video processing tricks.

Camera upgrades on Pixel phones aren’t always a given, with software enhancements typically more common. This year however, it seems Google is determined to set a new high bar when it comes to smartphone photography.