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Google's Upcoming 'Night Sight' Mode for Pixel Phones Captures Remarkable Low-Light Photos

At a media event in New York City earlier this month, Google previewed a new low-light camera feature called "Night Sight" that uses machine learning to choose the right colors based on the content of the image. The result is much brighter photos in low-light conditions, without having to use flash. Google showed a side-by-side comparison of two unedited photos shot in low light with an iPhone XS and its latest Pixel 3 smartphone with Night Sight, and the photo shot on the latter device is much brighter. Google said Night Sight will be available next month for its Pixel smartphones, but an XDA Developers forum member managed to get the feature to work ahead of time, and The Verge's Vlad Savov tested out the pre-release software on a Pixel 3 XL. The results, pictured below, are simply remarkable. Without Night Sight With Night Sight Without Night Sight With Night Sight Without Night Sight With Night Sight Google and Apple are both heavily invested in computational photography. On the latest iPhones, for example, Smart HDR results in photos with more highlight and shadow detail, while Depth Control significantly improves Portrait Mode. But, Night Sight takes low-light smartphone photography to a whole new

Google Pixel 3 XL vs. iPhone XS Max: Which Camera Reigns Supreme?

Google's newest flagship smartphones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are officially launching later this week. With their high-quality cameras, fast processors, and other improvements, the new devices are direct competitors to Apple's newly released iPhone XS models. We were able to get our hands on the new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL ahead of their debut, and in our latest YouTube video, we compared the Google Pixel 3 XL camera to Apple's iPhone XS Max camera to see which one reigns supreme. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL are equipped with a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera system, while the iPhone XS Max uses a dual-lens camera system that features a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens. The two camera system allows the iPhone XS Max to do things like capture Portrait Mode images with an adjustable depth of field and a blurred background, but the Pixel 3 XL has much of the same functionality enabled through software. Like the iPhone XS Max, the Pixel 3 XL features a Portrait Mode. With its newest devices, Apple introduced some improvements to Portrait Mode with the A12 Bionic chip, and that gave it the edge over the Pixel 3 XL in our image tests. The Pixel 3 XL won out when it came to edge detection in most cases, with less blurring in areas we didn't want blurred, but iPhone XS Max Portrait Mode images were sharper. Google advertises a new "Super Res" zoom in the Pixel 3 XL, but the single-lens camera system can't compete with Apple's telephoto lens. With the

Google Announces Pixel 3 Smartphone, 'Home Hub' Smart Speaker, and Pixel Slate Tablet

Google today held its annual "Made by Google" fall event, unveiling a new line of products that included the all-new Google Pixel 3 smartphone, a screen-based smart speaker, and a new tablet. Notably, Google pointed out at the beginning of its presentation that 2018 marks the 20 year anniversary of the search giant. The central announcement at the event was the 5.5-inch Google Pixel 3 and 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL. The Pixel 3 XL has an edge-to-edge display and a notch at the top of the smartphone that holds its front-facing camera system, akin to iPhone X onwards. Unlike Apple's smartphones, the Pixel 3 XL has a chin on the bottom of the device. The company focused on the Pixel 3's advanced camera, including an HDR+ mode and "Top Shot," which automatically captures multiple shots with HDR+ and recommends one that might be better than your photo. Night Sight will enhance photos captured in low-light scenarios, and Google compared nighttime images on the iPhone XS with those taken on Pixel 3. Users can also now edit the depth of field effect in portrait mode, like on iPhone XS and XS Max. The second camera on the front of the Pixel 3 smartphone allows for a group selfie feature, which captures 184 percent more of a scene than the iPhone XS, according to Google. The new smartphone also has a few AR features on the camera called Google Playground, including characters from The Avengers and an animated version of Childish Gambino created in partnership with Donald Glover. Outside of the camera, Google Pixel 3 has a Call Screen feature, where Google Assistant can

Google's New Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL Smartphones Likely to Debut at Upcoming October 9 Event

Google today sent out invitations to members of the media for a "Made by Google" event that's set to be held in New York City on Tuesday, October 9. At the event, Google is likely to unveil its Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones, which will be competing with the trio of new iPhones that Apple is set to unveil next week. It's official, Google sends out invites for its annual event https://t.co/3YOk9wsQnq pic.twitter.com/1L5wzy7YEU— CNET (@CNET) September 6, 2018 Details about the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have already leaked thanks to multiple hardware units and images that have surfaced from Russian bloggers and a device that was left in a Lyft. Image via Mobile-review.com The 6.2-inch Pixel 3 XL will feature a deep iPhone X-style notch that's been the subject of jokes on the internet since early images leaked, while it looks like the smaller 5.5-inch Pixel 3 will be notchless. Wireless charging will be available on both devices through glass rear shells, and the two smartphones will feature single-lens rear cameras and dual front-facing cameras. A fingerprint sensor is located at the back of each device, and given the inclusion of USB-C headphones and a USB-C to audio jack device, it looks like the Pixel 3 will not feature a headphone jack. Image via Mobile-review.com In past years, Google has unveiled multiple other products at fall events, so there are likely other devices Google is set to debut aside from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Apple is unveiling its own new 2018 smartphone lineup a month ahead of Google on Wednesday, September 12.

Google Pixel 3 XL Production Unit Leak Reveals Taller iPhone X-Like Notch

Although Google's major fall event is still about two months away, typically occurring in October and ushering in a new generation of Pixel smartphones and other products, today leaked pictures have been shared online highlighting the upcoming Google Pixel 3 XL. Images from Telegram user @LuchkovCh via Android Police The images depict an alleged "pre-release" final production unit of the Pixel 3 XL smartphone, sourced from a Russian tech blogger (via Android Police). Images showcase the rear and front of the device, with an iPhone X-like notch at the top of the Pixel 3 XL's display that's not as wide as Apple's, but is noticeably taller. Previous CAD leaks suggest that a smaller 5.4-inch Pixel 3 will not have a notch, while the larger 6.2-inch Pixel 3 XL is what appears in the images today, notch included. It's believed that Google is using the notch to house improved cameras, including two camera lenses. Per Bloomberg, from a report in May: The bigger Pixel will include two camera lenses on the front of the phone inside of the notch, one of the people said. The notch, or cutout, at the top of the new larger Pixel’s screen won’t be as wide as a similar feature on the iPhone X, but is noticeably taller, according to the people. Google aims to eventually remove the bezels completely in a future Pixel, but is retaining the notch and chin this year to keep stereo speakers on the front of the phone, the people said Additionally, the images suggest that customers will get "Pixel Bud-esque" wired USB-C earphones with the Pixel 3 XL. There also appears to be a

Google Investigating Reports of Screen Burn-In on Pixel 2 XL But iPhone X Unlikely Affected

Multiple reports have surfaced over the past few days about potential screen burn-in or image retention issues with Google's new Pixel 2 XL smartphone. Pixel 2 XL with apparent screen burn-in via Michael Kukielka‏ Android Central's Alex Dobie‏ shared a photo on Twitter on early Sunday that shows faint outlines of Android's navigation buttons at the bottom of the display. 9to5Google, The Verge, and Ars Technica also experienced the issue. That's some pretty wild OLED burn-in on the Pixel 2 XL after maybe 7 days of full-time use pic.twitter.com/EPJTs6D0Kg— Alex Dobie (@alexdobie) October 22, 2017 In a statement to The Verge, Google said it is "actively investigating" the reports.The Pixel 2 XL screen has been designed with an advanced POLED technology, including QHD+ resolution, wide color gamut, and high contrast ratio for natural and beautiful colors and renderings. We put all of our products through extensive quality testing before launch and in the manufacturing of every unit. We are actively investigating this report.Google hasn't confirmed how many users are currently affected. Google sourced the Pixel 2 XL's plastic OLED display from LG, which could be the root of the problem, given that the smaller Pixel 2 and original Pixel's Samsung-supplied OLED displays have experienced far fewer issues. Apple is also sourcing OLED displays exclusively from Samsung, so if the issue stems from LG, then the iPhone X shouldn't be affected either. LG's own V30 smartphone has suffered from many of the same display issues, which has also included banding and uneven

Pixel 2 Reviews: Iterative Update Lacks 'Wow Factor' But Still 'Best Android Phone You Can Buy'

Two weeks after first unveiling the Pixel 2 at an event in San Francisco, reviews of Google's latest smartphone have now been published online. Many of the reviews written on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL are positive, with multiple articles referring to the smartphones as the best Android devices on the market, as well as legitimate competitors to Apple's iPhone series. The only slight negatives appear to surround Google's decision to aim for functional, more iterative updates over flashier feature additions. Like most reviews posted today, The Verge was more impressed by the design and look of the Pixel 2 XL than the smaller Pixel 2, calling the latter phone "humdrum" with "big, chunky bezels" that don't compare favorably to the XL's smaller bezels and larger 6-inch screen. The site noted that each device's Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 4GB of RAM resulted in a snappy UI, running "better overall than Samsung's or LG's" version of Android. Image via The Verge The Verge described an all-day battery life that "lasts until bedtime just fine," and said that the Pixel 2 is "easily a contender for best smartphone camera" with photos that are "way sharper than the iPhone 8 and the Note 8." Although the site had qualms with the 2 XL's display quality -- calling colors "muted" -- the overall takeaway came down to being impressed by the smartphone's snappy functionality, despite a lack of "razzle dazzle." The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do not razzle dazzle. It's not just the somewhat disappointing screen on the Pixel 2 XL, it's that Google has gone out of its way to do

Single-Lens Google Pixel 2 Camera Takes Top Spot From iPhone 8 Plus in DxO Labs Tests

The new Google Pixel 2 has bumped the iPhone 8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 off the number one spot to become the top-performing smartphone camera in DxO Labs' mobile photography tests. Just a day after Samsung's latest device matched Apple's largest iPhone 8 handset with an overall DxOMark score of 94, Google's newly launched Pixel 2 has now beaten both dual-lens devices with a score of 98, despite its rear-mounted single-camera design. Its top scores in most of our traditional photo and video categories put it ahead of our previous (tied) leaders, the Apple iPhone 8 Plus and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, despite the Pixel 2 coming in lower in the new Zoom and Bokeh categories. The Pixel 2 is also a major step forward from the Pixel (which was our top scorer when it was released a year ago), moving from 90 to 98.The reviewers praised the Pixel 2 for excellent video performance, scene reproduction, color rendering, and fast and accurate autofocus, highlighting in particular its "amazing" ability to render detail in both the bright and dark areas of difficult scenes. One weak spot for the Pixel 2 was said to be exposure in very low light images, which show increased noise in high dynamic range scenes, although excellent exposure and highlight preservation is still in evidence. Despite performing very well for a single camera phone, the Pixel 2 couldn't outscore the zoom capability of the dual-lens Apple iPhone 8 Plus. The Pixel 2 also sometimes displayed aliasing and moiré artifacts in medium- and long-range zooms. The reviewers concluded that for just about any

Leaked Images Show Google Pixel 2 XL Smartphone With Minimal Bezels

A day ahead of Google's October hardware event, serial mobile leaker Evan Blass has shared images of the company's new 6-inch Pixel 2 XL smartphone, revealing a display with thin bezels and rounded corners reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy S8. Rumors suggest the Pixel 2 XL will feature a QHD+ display with an 18:9 (2:1) aspect ratio, 4GB of RAM, a 12-megapixel rear camera, and front-facing stereo speakers, with a price tag of $849/$949 for either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Blass also tweeted images of the smaller 5-inch Pixel 2 (below) which, apart from a less impressive 1080p display, is thought to share the same specs as the XL 2. The wallpaper used in both the leaked images shows a vibrant depth-of-field view, suggesting an upcoming "bokeh" camera feature native to the new Google handsets. According to a source familiar with Google's release plans that spoke to VentureBeat, the new phones will have a pre-order period followed by a staggered rollout, with October 19 for the Pixel 2 and November 15 for the Pixel 2 XL. MacRumors will have all the details on Google's October 4 event, where the company is expected to unveil a range of products, including new Google Home smart speakers, a new laptop, and perhaps more.

Google Teases Upcoming Pixel 2 Event, Aimed at Those Who Are 'Thinking About Changing Phones'

Google has launched a new advertising campaign and teaser website for its upcoming "Pixel 2" smartphone. The site teases visitors with an October 4 event date, aimed at anyone who might be "thinking about changing phones" (via TechCrunch). The page presents no other information, and asks for the user's email address to stay up-to-date with alerts regarding breaking news ahead of the October 4 event. Since the original Pixel smartphone debuted in October of last year (it was actually announced on the exact same date in 2016), a similar date was expected for the new version of Google's smartphone. Rumors about the Pixel 2 have been spreading over the summer in the lead-up to its launch, with current predictions aimed at a smartphone with a Snapdragon 835 or 836 chipset, 4GB of RAM, "squeezable" sides to perform different functions, and IP68 water and dust resistance. The Google Pixel 2 will also come in standard and "XL" versions, similar to the first generation (launched in 5-inch and 5.5-inch sizes). The XL is rumored to have premium features, however, including a larger 6-inch display with "very narrow" bezels, which the smaller device will lack and reportedly appear similar to the 2016 design. There's a chance other Google devices, like a new Chromebook and "Google Home mini," will appear at the same event. The current lineup of Pixel Phone devices Google's tease comes two days after Apple revealed the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X, which have enticed many users who are ready to upgrade their smartphones -- the customers that Google is likely aiming

Google Pixel 2 Smartphone Will Feature Squeezable Sides and No Headphone Jack

Google's second-generation Pixel smartphone will be made by HTC and feature "squeezable" sides to perform different functions, according to a filing with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday. The filing essentially confirms that the Google Pixel 2 will borrow the squeezable frame from the HTC U11. Screenshots included in the document show the feature is to be called "Active Edge" and will launch Google Assistant by default. Other possible functions include turning on the flashlight, launching the camera, and taking a photo. Leaked image of Pixel 2 from Evan Blass The 4.97-inch device is expected to feature a 1080p display and stereo speakers, and will have an overall design similar to the original Pixel. The filing also suggests that the Pixel 2 will have a Snapdragon 835 or 836 chipset and 64GB storage capacity – although additional capacities are likely. LG is said to be manufacturing the Google Pixel XL 2 and will put its own stamp on the larger handset by including a 6-inch AMOLED display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, but it's also likely that the XL 2 will share the same squeezable frame of the smaller device. Based on leaked images, both handsets are rumored to do away with the headphone jack, although this was not confirmed in the filing. It's still not clear when Google's second-generation Pixel smartphones will be released, but the original version was unveiled in October of last year, so a fall release is likely. (The original Google Pixel FCC filing appeared exactly a year ago on Tuesday.) That would put Google's new phones in direct

Upcoming 2017 Google Pixel XL May Feature 'Squeezable' Frame for Activating Google Assistant

Google's second-generation Pixel XL could feature a squeezable body, a 6-inch AMOLED display, and thinner bezels, according to information and rendered images leaked today by Android Police. LG is said to be manufacturing the Google Pixel XL 2, which features a design that's curved like the original Google Pixel. It continues to offer a rear fingerprint sensor (now located in the aluminum portion of the device) and a large single-lens camera, eschewing the dual-lens camera trend. Rendering created by Android Police The XL version, which is the only version covered in the leak, offers a 6-inch LG-made display with a 2:1 aspect ratio, rounded corners, and a "minimal bezel." Design wise, it could look a little like Apple's rumored iPhone 8, which is also expected to have a longer design with much thinner side and top/bottom bezels. Current iPhone 8 leaks suggest Apple's device will have little to no bottom bezel and a smaller top bezel, however. Most notably, the 2017 Pixel XL is rumored to include a "squeezable" frame like the recently launched HTC U11. The technology will let Pixel users squeeze their handsets to activate Google Assistant "in various ways." In the HTC U11, the "Edge Sense" feature lets people use a squeeze gesture to activate pressure sensors that can turn on the flashlight, launch the camera, take a photo, or launch Google Assistant. It's not clear when Google's second-generation Pixel XL device will be released, but the original version was unveiled in October of 2016, so a fall release date could be planned. If that's the case, the Pixel

Google Hires Veteran Chip Designer Away From Apple to Build Custom Chips For Pixel Smartphones

Google has hired veteran chip architect Manu Gulati, who worked at Apple for the past eight years, according to Variety. Gulati is now a Lead SOC Architect at Google, where he began in May, according to his recently updated LinkedIn profile. Gulati was "instrumental" to the company's efforts to build custom chips for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, according to the report. Apple's custom silicon ranges from the single-core A4 chip in the original iPad and iPhone 4 to the six-core A10X Fusion chip in the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. At Google, his expertise is expected to help the Mountain View company design custom chips for its own Pixel smartphones. Pixel smartphones are currently powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, which is the same chip used in several other flagship Android smartphones. But reports claim Google plans to build its own chips, as it takes on the iPhone more directly in the premium smartphone category. Gulati is listed as an inventor on over a dozen Apple patents related to mobile processors and integrated circuity. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including lengthy stints at AMD and

Google Has No Plans For More Pixel Notebooks

Google has ended production of its Pixel laptop, which originally aimed to compete with Apple's MacBook Air. During a small meeting with journalists today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Google's senior vice president for hardware Rick Osterlohthe responded to a question about future Pixel notebooks, saying the company has "no plans to do one right now". According to TechCrunch, he added that versions already on the market have totally sold out and there are no plans to make any more of them. However, Osterlohthe was quick to clarify that he was not referring to the notebooks' operating system, ChromeOS. "Chrome OS is a huge initiative in the company," Osterloh said. "Google hasn't backed away from laptops. We have the number two market share in the U.S. and U.K. — but we have no plans for Google-branded laptops."Google's Chromebook was the first device to carry the Pixel name, which has since been adopted by the tech giant's latest range of branded smartphones. The original Pixel laptops were launched in 2013 and were notable for their integrated hardware – which included a touchscreen – and their premium design appeal, but the web-only operating system only ran Chrome browser and a handful of other cloud-based apps, and prices started at $1,299. The second version of the Pixel Chromebook launched in 2015 and cost $999. It was one of the first laptops to feature USB-C along with Apple's 12-inch Retina MacBook, but saw limited uptake due to the restrictive OS and prohibitive cost. Other third-party Chromebooks sell for as little as $250.

Pixel Phone Reviews: A 'Truly Great Camera' and a 'Home Run' for Google

The first round of reviews of Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones appeared online this morning. Most sites have come away with largely positive impressions of the devices, hailing in particular the Pixel's camera performance compared to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. The Verge called the Pixel a "home run" for Google, noting that while it looks like an iPhone from afar, "there are a lot of differences" in design details, such as the glass shade on the upper third of the back of the phone where the fingerprint ID sits, the "subtle wedge shape" of the handset, and the lack of a camera bump. Camera performance was a standout feature, said The Verge, which claimed it "bested the iPhone in picking up detail". In terms of speed, both Pixels were rated as "fast – noticeably faster than Samsung's Galaxy S7. On performance alone, these are easily the best Android phones you can buy". Google's failure to make the Pixel range waterproof though was considered "dumb and annoying". This is Google's first phone, and for a first effort it is remarkably good. By almost every metric I can think of — speed, power, camera, smart assistant, you name it — it matches or exceeds the best phones available on the market today.TechCrunch said Google had delivered a "terrific photo and video experience" on the Pixel, noting that its video stabilization works "astonishingly well". Testing the Pixel camera side-by-side with the iPhone 7 Plus, the latter was considered to deliver more accurate colors outdoors, but overall picture quality was said to be "so close that it's impossible to call,

Google Unveils Pixel Phone, Smart Home Hub, and More at AI-Focused Event

At its media event today in San Francisco, Google announced a few new pieces of hardware, mainly centering around the company's artificial intelligence initiatives and the confirmation of a new pair of smartphones called the Pixel and Pixel XL. Additionally, the company revealed the new Chromecast Ultra streaming dongle, a VR headset called Google Daydream, and gave more details about its connected smart home hub device, Google Home. Bits and pieces of information on the Pixel smartphones and Google Home have surfaced online over the past few weeks, correctly predicting most of today's announcements. Google Assistant The company started off by providing details on its artificial intelligence platform, called Google Assistant, which the company says is like "your own personal Google." The assistant can perform normal tasks like playing music, performing search queries, and providing navigation directions, as well as carrying on a normal conversation with the user. The company showed this by providing an example of a user asking for directions, then inquiring about restaurants at the destination's end, and finally setting a reservation at one. Google CEO Sundar Pichai also discussed a few intelligent updates coming to the company's search system, including improvements to image descriptions, better translation fueled by machine learning technology, and more human-like text-to-speech abilities. Pichai said that the assistant will "constantly get better" as the company introduces it to more and more users, which it's started doing with the recent launch of

Leaked Images Reveal Google 'Pixel' Smartphones Ahead of October 4th Event

U.K. mobile retailer Carphone Warehouse was today guilty of publishing a series of visuals and spec slides for Google's upcoming own-branded smartphones, a day ahead of their official unveiling (via 9to5Google). Due to be announced at the company's October 4th San Francisco event, Google's 5-inch 'Pixel' and 5.5-inch 'Pixel XL' smartphones feature Snapdragon 821 processors and 4GB RAM, a 2770mAh battery for the Pixel and a 3450mAh battery for the Pixel XL, and screen resolutions of 1080x1920 and 1440x2560, respectively. Both similar-looking handsets are available in black or white, and come with a choice of 32GB and 128GB storage capacities with the addition of a microSD slot for storage expansion, as well as what appears to be a headphone jack on the top and a USB-C port on the bottom. A 12-megapixel camera on the back, an 8-megapixel front-facing camera, and a circular fingerprint scanner on the rear also feature. The pulled slides from the U.K. retailer's website also show off a number of Google software services on the Android Nougat 7.1 powered devices, including free photo storage via Google Photos, and the company's Duo video chat and Allo messaging apps, not to mention a quick charge feature that claims seven hours' battery life after 15 minutes of charging. The two smartphones signal the company's first foray into own-branded phones in the manner of Apple and Samsung, and will allow it to have more control over the hardware running its Android OS. Google is said to be relying on HTC to manufacture the devices, which will be unveiled