The Google Assistant on the Pixel 2 and 2 XL is more powerful than ever before, and it can help you do a bunch of things with your phone like change settings or initiate a conversation with support. Thanks to a whimsical request from a reader, we now know about one more ability the Assistant has. Read More
With its new Pixel 2 phones, Google introduced something called Fused Video Stabilization which fixes the so-called "terminator effect" the original Pixels suffered. It's a proprietary combination of optical image stabilization, electronic image stabilization, and the company's fancy machine learning tech. Its results are stellar, giving Google's Pixel 2 phones one of the best, if not the best, video capturing results out there. Since we know that it works well, now the burning question is: how does it work? Read More
There's no doubting that Google's 2nd generation Pixels are excellent phones, but like any major release, they've not been without their fair share of teething problems. The screen of the Pixel 2 XL has captured the most headlines, with various issues which may or may not have been overblown in some media circles. With all that talk of the display, the camera must have been feeling left out. Well not anymore. Read More
There's a new version of Duo rolling out today, but it doesn't bring any huge changes for users. However, a teardown shows that the developers are still plenty active as they work on some tools to experiment with camera effects, including new controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, and saturation. Also in this update are new details for a voicemail-like feature for sending voice and video messages outside of a call.
While the meat of this post is in the teardown, one visual change in this update also stands out. Missed calls have been redrawn to place the icon below a contact's name, and if the call was made in the last day, it will list the time instead of a nonspecific "today" label. Read More
The Portrait mode on the new Pixel 2 phones is impressive. With just a single camera, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are able to mimic a convincing depth of field effect, like that created by much larger hardware. It isn't quite as good as an SLR, but it's a reasonable approximation. And if you were interested in exactly how it works, we've put together an explanation. Read More
If there's one thing that annoys me more than almost anything else, it's the selfie stick. If you use one, I'm sorry, I really am, but I just can't stand them. Walking around packed central London streets is hard enough without people flapping about with creepy telescopic camera mounts. So when a company says they want to kill the selfie, and by virtue also the selfie stick, I'm all ears.
ElsiePic is a new app with an interesting premise. It's essentially a crowdsourcing app for finding a photographer in the vicinity who will take your photo so you don't have to resort to a selfie or give your phone to a stranger. Read More
We've known for a while that Google was interested in making its own chips. Recently their hardware efforts even bore some fruit, but most of us assumed that it would be quite a while until Google made anything at a consumer level.
Well, it turns out that the new Pixel 2 phones have a bit of Google-designed hardware inside them. It's called Pixel Visual Core, and it brings even better camera performance to the phones — or it will, once it's turned on. Pixel Visual Core augments Google's HDR+ implementation, improving latency, power efficiency (using 1/10 the power), and speed (5x faster). Read More
The Essential Phone has a pair of cameras on the back, but more does not always mean better. As demonstrated in our review, the Essential Phone took really mediocre pictures at launch. The company has been working on improving the camera through software with a series of updates, and today the latest one has been announced. Build NMI81C is rolling out now with a number of camera tweaks. Read More
Google has been experimenting quite a bit with augmented reality recently. Project Tango still hasn't taken off, but the company's new ARCore library promises similar functionality without specialized hardware. The company is expanding on this with new 'AR Stickers' for the Google Camera. Read More
Last year's Pixel was found to be one of the best all-around smartphone cameras. In fact, according to Google, Pixel users take 2x more photos than iPhones, on average. The camera tradition looks to have continued with the latest series of Pixel phones. Of course, you all know what we think about DxOMark. But even so, it appears that the Pixel 2 scored an incredible 98 overall, making it the best phone camera (again) it's ever reviewed. Read More