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Google Pixel 6 major camera upgrade just tipped by Google's app

Google Pixel 6 colors
(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel 6 has already seen an official teaser, but one of the remaining questions we have may have just been answered by Google in a more accidental fashion.

Eagle-eyed Cstark27 on Twitter (via 9to5Google) found that within the lines of code that make up the latest update to the Google Pixel Camera app, there's a reference to the upcoming Pixel 6 series. What's more, this reference appears next to the string "gn1_wide", which tells us that the main camera on these phones could be using a 50MP Samsung-made camera sensor.

We can infer this because GN1 is the name of a camera sensor that was debuted by Samsung back in February. The ISOCELL GN1 (to give it its full name) is a 50MP sensor that's equipped with Samsung's dual-pixel autofocus, which should make for snappy and precise focusing. 

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The Pixel 6's rumored camera is also capable of 4-in-1 "pixel-binning", allowing the camera to collate the data from groups of four pixels in the camera to make a single super-pixel. This means if this camera is on the Pixel 6, Google could make the camera default to less detailed 12.5MP resolution images, which instead capture the light of a scene more effectively, particularly when it's dark.

This information lines up with previous rumors that allege the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will both use 50MP main cameras. The two phones will also reportedly make use of a 12MP ultrawide camera, with the Pixel 6 Pro adding on top of that a 48MP telephoto camera, according to the rumors.

We're expecting a late September or October release date for the Pixel 6, going by Google's previous release dates. Google's already told us about the new Tensor chipset that will be powering the Pixel 6 series, but beyond its focus on AI features, we've yet to learn anything concrete about it.

Other things we're looking forward to on the Pixel 6 series are the new rear camera bar design and color options, Google's first under-display fingerprint reader and the heavily upgraded 6.7-inch 120Hz QHD display on the Pixel 6 Pro model.

Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.