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Big Pixel 3 Leak Reveals Camera Improvements

For everything we know about the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL — and we sure know a lot — one aspect still remains mostly shrouded in mystery: the cameras.

Credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: Shaun Lucas/Tom's Guide)

While a flood of leaks over the summer have made it abundantly clear that Google will add a second lens to the Pixel's front-facing camera, we’re not totally certain for what purpose. And although we can expect the requisite improvements to overall picture quality, we don’t know how Google intends to improve upon the Pixel 2, which remains a leader among smartphones when it comes to photography, nearly a full year since its release.

Thanks to a report from 9to5Google, though, we may now have a better idea of what the Pixel 3’s cameras will be packing. According to several of the site’s sources, one of those two selfie cams utilizes a wide-angle perspective.

This isn’t unheard of — previous handsets from LG and Sony have opted for wider perspectives for the purpose of capturing group shots. This strategy also seems a bit more believable than Google doubling down on lenses simply to deliver bokeh-effect self portraits, as the company has famously been able to use computational photography to produce those through the single rear camera.

MORE: Huge Pixel 3 Leak: See It Up Close

Interestingly, despite all the people who have been lucky enough to go hands-on with the Pixel 3 XL, we haven’t seen a single video demonstrating how this wide-angle camera operates in practice.

Credit: 9to5Google

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

On the other hand, we’ve been served many leaked screenshots of the updated camera app, which features additional options for face retouching that were absent on the Pixel 2. 9to5Google states both the front-facing sensors are rated at 8.1 megapixels, while the single rear sensor slots in at 12.2 megapixels — exactly the same as the Pixel 2.

Powering all of this could be a new Visual Core chip, which 9to5Google reports may have other applications besides improving HDR+ shots and working wonders in low-light situations. Of course we haven’t the slightest idea what those could be yet, but we suppose some aspects of the Pixel 3 should remain secret until the unveiling.

We still don’t know when Google has scheduled that event for, though some suspect it'll occur Oct. 4 for the third year in a row.