Surprise — it's Pixel 6 announcement day, and we're still unpacking everything Google has detailed about its next flagship phone. While there's a whole lot left to learn between now and its eventual launch this fall, the cameras were unsurprisingly a highlight of today's various hands-on articles. And while we expect the Pixel 6 to be another mobile photography powerhouse, it also sounds like Google might've finally got video recording right.
We haven't gotten to try out the Pixel 6 ourselves, but those who got to spend time with it say that early previews seem promising. In these private hands-on events, Google showed off a video recording that positioned its new phone against the Pixel 5 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. According to reports from both Wired and The Verge, the test — captured in 4K at 30FPS — required all three devices to record a lakeside beach, with the sun setting in the distance — a perfect examination of how each phone handles HDR content.
According to Wired, the Pixel 5's video failed to accurately capture the scene, displaying oversaturated grass and losing out on that classic sunset look. The iPhone 12 Pro Max was more realistic, but it swung in the opposite direction, washing out some of its colors and messing up the white balance on a tent in the background. The Pixel 6 Pro captured accurate shadows and colors of the entire scene, including the sun and grass. According to The Verge, it also managed to avoid over-sharpening, something last year's Pixel was guilty of in its footage.
Both sites, along with MKBHD, declared the Pixel 6 the winner of that shoot, all while admitting that, as a test set up by Google itself, it's bound to show its next device in the best light possible. Rick Osterloh, the man in charge of Google's hardware division, explained that the new Tensor SoC is responsible for boosting video capabilities. With it, its HDR photo processing is now applied to every frame captured in a recording.
Obviously, you should take all of these tests with a grain of salt until the Pixel 6's cameras are out in the real world. That said, it's a promising start to what looks to be Google's most ambitious phone yet.