“A gander at some image samples from the Pixel XL’s cameras”
The first phones that carry the “Made by Google” tag are here in the form of the Pixel and Pixel XL (unboxing and first impressions) and apart from the loaded specs that form the hallmark of every premium flagship, boast quite a few other interesting features. The latest build of Android Nougat, the Google Assistant built into the home button, the Pixel launcher, and the launcher shortcuts that work similar to Apple’s 3D Touch are just some of the things that make these phones exciting.
But for now, we’re more interested in the 12.3MP primary snapper that famously topped DxoMark’s camera tests. The taste of the pudding is in the eating, or so they say, so why not take a look at a few camera samples shot using the Pixel XL and see how they turn out.
The Pixel XL impresses right from the get go with a crisp daylight shot that’s full of detail and accurate colours. The gloomy skies notwithstanding, this shot highlights the prowess of the Pixel XL’s primary shooter and shows how capable it really is.
The display of superlative performance continues as we move on to a close up shot. Again, the level of detail, colours and focus is spot on, with a nice bokeh effect seen in the background.
Close up (zoomed in)
Zooming in into the same image for a closer look, we can see the exact level of detail captured – the texture, the rust and the effect the outdoors can have on metal is all clearly visible. The letters that spell out the word “shut” can be made out clearly and we wonder if the Pixel XL’s camera intends to do just that with rivals.
The Pixel XL has an Auto HDR mode but we turned that off for this shot so we could compare how HDR images turn out. Again, we see a pleasant, true-to-life representation of this daylight scene right outside our office building.
With HDR turned on, the same scene looks even livelier, with details highlighted in a much better way. The grass on the foreground, the tree on the side and the building at the background all look much more detailed, whereas the darker areas offer more as well. Worth mentioning that the HDR mode on the Pixel XL is superfast, so it’d be best to leave Auto HDR on all the time.
The front 8MP sensor on the Pixel XL has a story to tell on its own, but we’re not referring to the weird expression on our colleague’s face in this shot. Let’s just say selfie maniacs should be more than pleased with the Pixel XL’s front shooter, even though it lacks a front flash or a screen flash feature.
We can’t say we like the noise we see in this night shot – the result of the Pixel XL shooter boosting up ISO quite a bit – but otherwise we think that this is a compelling image. The detail on the building and the bits of colour – right from the reflection of the red sign to the green foliage, are all pretty decent.
Shot indoors in very dim lighting, this image shows what the Pixel XL’s shooter can really do. While the noise level (due to boosted ISO) is pretty high, we love how the colour has come out and the fact that we can easily discern what the subject is.
Low light (with flash)
We shot the same subject with the flash turned on, and the results are there for you to see. The riot of colour, the sharpness and the details are all pretty impressive, to say the least.
Overall, we have to say we’re quite pleased with what we found in the Photos app after we were done with our shooting spree with the Google Pixel XL. Without a doubt, we’re looking at one of the most capable shooters we’ve seen on a smartphone yet, thought it’d be a little early for us to say the Pixel XL is the best camera phone out there. We’d obviously have more on that in the days to come, but for now, excuse as we head out again to click some more photos with our Pixel XL.