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Pixel 2 Update Makes Google's Top Camera Even Better

Google's Pixel 2 has a big update that could dramatically improve the quality of its picture-taking.

Credit: Google

(Image credit: Google)

Google has turned on the Pixel 2's Visual Core image-processing chip for third-party apps in a bid to dramatically improve the quality of the images you snap with the smartphone's camera. In a blog post on Monday (Feb. 5), Google engineering manager for Pixel Visual Core Ofer Shacham said that the technology uses "computational photography and machine learning" to improve image quality.

"This means it’ll be easier to shoot and share amazing photos on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat, along with many other apps which use the Pixel 2 camera," Shacham wrote in the blog post. "All you need to do is take the photo and Pixel 2 will do the rest. Your photos will be bright, detailed, and clear."

Google's Pixel 2 launched late last year with what the company said, was the best smartphone camera on the market. Since then, folks have taken it for a spin and discovered that its camera quality is second to none. In our own camera face-off between the Pixel 2 and iPhone X, the two phone were neck and neck. But Google also said last year that more was coming. And the Pixel Visual Core is key to that improvement.

MORE: Galaxy S9 vs. Pixel 2: Which Android Flagship Will Win?

According to Shacham, Pixel Visual Core will now do the "heavy-lifting image processing" and ultimately use less power, so it can preserve battery life. He said in the blog that the Pixel Visual Core uses an HDR+ algorithm to expand color representation. It also comes with a feature called RAISR that makes zoomed-in shots look more detailed. A Zero Shutter Lag is also included in Pixel Visual Core to ensure you capture the right shot at the right time.

Google's Pixel 2 line is impressive, but it hasn't been able to attract the same size customer base as Apple's iPhone or Samsung's Galaxy S line. Still, moves like this affirm that the company is serious about continually improving its flagship phones..

Google's new Pixel Visual Core is available to those running Pixel 2 units. The feature is being made available through Google's February monthly Pixel software update. It should be rolling out to users over the next few days.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide.