Hidden code reveals Google's plan to make the Pixel 4 camera even better

Hidden code reveals Google's plan to make the Pixel 4 camera even better
One of the best smartphone cameras on the market (if not the best) is about to get even better. XDA reports that code found in the Google Camera app by one of its senior members allows for wide-gamut P3 color capture. This is the same imaging system used with the iPhone cameras and captures a range of colors that is 25% more than the amount captured by the sRGB system currently employed on Android phones. We could see this wider range of color capture on the Pixel 4.

Apple started using wide-gamut P3 capture with the iPhone 7, and Google said last year that it would be bringing wide-gamut color to Android. At that time, XDA found photo samples from a leaked Pixel 3 that contained a Display P3 embedded color profile, but when the phone was released Google had switched back to sRGB. Apparently, all sensors can capture colors outside of the sRGB color gamut, but right now Android apps won't support it. Certainly, no social media sites on Android can show wide-color photos from iOS users correctly. And if an iOS user shares such a photo with an Android phone, the out of range colors are replaced by the closest color found in the sRGB gamut.

Google is making big changes with the next generation of Pixel phones. Based on a teaser disseminated by Google itself (in response to some renders that were widely circulated), the Pixel 4 will sport an iPhone 11-like square camera module in the upper left corner of the phone's rear panel. The two-tone look on the back is gone. And we couldn't help thinking that when Google tweeted about the Pixel 4, "Wait 'til you see what it can do," it was talking about the rumored Project Soli integration. The latter is Google's sensing technology and allows a device to be controlled using subtle, fine hand gestures. Radar is used to track "micro motions" of the hand. And since it doesn't appear that a fingerprint button can be found on the phone, there is talk that Google is borrowing from Apple again by putting all of its eggs into one secure facial recognition basket. In other words, the Pixel 4 could be equipped with a 3D mapping technology, possibly using a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor, that will be able to map faces similar to the structured light system used by Apple. The Pixel 4 will reportedly be equipped with five front-facing sensors.

Google wants to challenge Apple and Samsung with the Pixel line


Google apparently understands that the Pixel line must now take the next step up if it wants to challenge the iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy S line at the top of the smartphone food chain. But it will take more than adding some new features and shining up the hardware to get there. Since the OG Pixels launched in 2016, the line is known to have required some fine tuning from Google to get rid of some annoying bugs that showed up following the release of each new generation's models. Things were so bad with the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL that a law firm advertised for owners of these two devices so that it could start a class action suit against Google, HTC and LG. Software updates from Google eventually fixed the problems and after the first few weeks, each Pixel was stable with no major issues raised.


Certainly, the Pixel launches were nowhere near as disastrous as say the BlackBerry Storm (still the gold standard for half baked phone releases) but it certainly is time for Google to crack down and prove that it can hang with Apple and Samsung in the handset market. The Pixel 4 needs to come out of the box without any negative surprises. And if all of the rumors are right about the addition of the wide-gamut P3 color capture and the use of Project Soli's sensing technologies, we could see Google finally deliver the handset we knew it could create.

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.6"
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB

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14 Comments

1. User123456789

Posts: 674; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

One thing needed to be done is to get rid of the excess of contrast. Too much, very far from real. Even seeing photos on LCD screen the blacks look pure black. Pure blacks are not real ....

2. LawnBoy

Posts: 154; Member since: Feb 23, 2019

Why do iPhone cams suck then? Consistantly last in photo shoot outs?

3. User123456789

Posts: 674; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Because only PA believes it is good. We all know it is not. Apple has to fix the white balance. Get rid of coldish green of plants, purple sky and yellowish skin.

6. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Because 90% of the surveys here are favored to Android than Google. Didn’t you see with all the surveys relating to android vs iOs. Use ur brain to figure it out.

9. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1301; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

And yet there are numerous sites that say the same: iPhone cameras have fallen behind. It must be a great conspiracy!

10. QuantumRazer

Posts: 63; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

Why are you assuming that iPhone's camera sucks though? Sure it's not a perfect cellphone camera by any mean, but other phones are riddled with issues as well. Pixel consistently suffers from strong black crushing and excessive dehaze filter, Samsung's processing turns fine details into oilpainting, Huawei uses too much clarity boost which makes colors look rather unnatural etc.

4. maherk

Posts: 6749; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

"the Pixel 4 will sport an iPhone 11-like square camera module in the upper left corner of the phone's rear panel." And Apple fanboys get mad when we call PA's bias towards Apple.

5. japkoslav

Posts: 1465; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

If Google wants to "challenge Apple and Samsung" they have to pretty much fix the mics on Pixel - sound capture on Samsung phones is awesome, on the latest Apple ones it's fairly good as well, on Pixel it's the worst trash you ever heard. I really want a new Pixel to be finally good.

7. iloveapps

Posts: 724; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Another reason why all features are not found in android. Ooops, no more 3rd party relying apps.

8. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2135; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Google sells less than 4 million Pixels a year. Regardless of the high quality camera everyone isn’t invested in the Pixel’s camera capabilities.

11. User123456789

Posts: 674; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Almost impossible to find Pixel outside North America. No way they can have good sales this way.

12. TBomb

Posts: 1283; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I dont think Google is serious about trying to make the Pixel line popular. I think they are just trying to make a device that popular enough to make other OEMs try harder. This could be why the Pixel phones are not as sleek as a galaxy or HTC devices. They don't have a surplus of features. They run Vanilla Android to be a vanilla phone. It's too say "Hey OEMs, if you want to sell more, you don't need to customize Android to the point that you can't even update it reasonably. Look what we can do with minimal effort." That's my take on it.

13. andrewc31394

Posts: 284; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

if Google wants the Pixels to rival Samsung and Apple, they should probably improve video quality, because my V20 took better videos then my 3 XL which is embarrassing.

14. SugitPupillam

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 25, 2019

I have a pixel 2 XL and the camera is still fantastic. Unfortunately for Google, I won't be buying the pixel 4. I'm tired of paying a premium price for a cut-rate screen and battery life. I swear my Galaxy S 5 years ago had better contrast and brightness.

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