Google Pixel 6 hint reveals that camera system could feature a 50MP sensor made by Samsung

(Pocket-lint) – A teardown of the Google Camera app has hinted that the Pixel 6 will feature a 50-megapixel sensor developed by Samsung.

Alongside the Android 12 Beta 4, the Google Camera app was also boosted to version 8.3.252, which revealed some potentially seismic details about the camera system for the upcoming smartphone.

As detailed by a noted Google Camera modder on Twitter, and shown below, a line of code in the app refers to both ‘P21’ (Google’s shorthand for the Pixel 6 series) and ‘GN1’. The latter is the model number, it’s thought, for the ISOCELL GN1 camera sensor unveiled by Samsung last year.

If the link-up in the code does indeed refer to what it appears, it would represent a very big leap forward in both pixels and sensor size from the Sony IMX363 that featured on the Pixel 5.

Not only is the Samsung sensor three times larger, measuring in at 12.21mm, but the 50MP density also far surpasses the 12.2MP and 16MP combination from last year’s rear camera.

The Samsung sensor has only so far been used on devices from Vivo, Tecno and Meizu, and Google’s AI-powered image processing far surpasses what those companies have shown to be capable of, so it’s tough to know just how big a leap this would represent for the Pixel range. 

On paper though, more powerful sensor hardware – which is renowned for producing faster autofocus and better low-light photography – combined with Google’s camera prowess would appear to be a lethal combination.

As we know, this Samsung camera sensor may not be the only thing Google will borrow from the Korean tech giant for its new flagship, either. Last week, rumours suggested Google Tensor is believed to be a Samsung Exynos variation.

Stay tuned for more information as we approach Pixel 6’s full release.

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Writing by Conor Allison. Editing by Britta O’Boyle. Originally published on 13 August 2021.

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