Google Pixel 8 tipped for a major camera upgrade — here’s what we know

Google Pixel 7 Pro in hand
(Image credit: Future)

The Google Pixel 8 is still a long way away — the Google Pixel 7 only came out two months ago, after all. But it looks like when the next flagship Pixel phone comes in 2023, it will arrive with a serious camera upgrade in tow.

As reported by GSMArena, the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro are set to get support for staggered HDR photography. This is based on findings by analyst Kuba Wojciechowski in the source code of the Google Camera Go app, which is now called “Camera from Google.” The source code shows that the Google Pixel 8 and Google Pixel 8 Pro, currently codenamed “Shiba” and “Husky,” respectively, will support a staggered HDR photography mode. 

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The app that Wojciechowski used was provided by Google, so while Google has not officially confirmed that staggered HDR is coming to the rumored devices, the source code itself should be as reputable as it gets.  

Google Pixel 8 camera: Benefits of staggered HDR 

Staggered HDR photography works by capturing multiple exposures at the same time while using the same pixels. The benefit of this method is that it creates the same effect as normal HDR photography, but decreases the chances of a blurry photo. This is because the multiple exposures reduce the need for additional capture time, lowering the chance of misalignment caused by the photographer moving during the shot.

Staggered HDR on Google Pixel 8

(Image credit: Kuba Wojciechowski/Twitter)

The reason this HDR mode isn’t on the Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Pro is that those phones use a Samsung ISOCELL GN1 sensor, which doesn’t support staggered HDR. That means that these new Pixel phones could get an upgrade to the Samsung ISOCELL GN2, which does support staggered HDR. That would mean both hardware and software upgrades for the Pixel 8 cameras when Google's next flagship launches, which would likely happen in the fall if Google sticks to its regular release schedule.

Google Pixel 8 camera: Surprise Google Pixel Tablet leak? 

The other piece of news that could have slipped under the radar here is that the source code provided by Google revealed a device called the “PixelTangorPro.” According to Wojciechowski, this refers to a “pro” version of the Google Pixel Tablet, currently codenamed Pixel Tangor.

Google Event

(Image credit: Google via YouTube)

While this leak doesn’t provide us with any additional information about the Pixel Tablet, which is set to arrive in 2023, or an unannounced pro model, it is interesting to see that Google could be possibly working on an additional tablet. Check out our Google Pixel Tablet hub for all the latest updates on Google’s first tablet since 2018. 

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.