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Leak Suggests Major Pixel 8 Camera Upgrade in 2023

Introducing staggered HDR into smartphones lets you take the most amazing shots yet.

A close-up of the Google Pixel 7's cameras.
Andrew Heinzman / Review Geek

A fresh leak from developer Kuba Wojciechowski indicates that next year’s Google Pixel 8 could include an upgraded camera sensor and support for staggered HDR. This means that you’ll be able to take clearer, more detailed shots faster in less-than-ideal photography conditions.

The leak gets into a lot of technical jargon that’s hard to decipher for most. But, the main takeaway is that Wojciechowski dug into the code for Google Camera Go and found a line that reads, “REQUEST_STAGGERED_HDR_MODE,” indicating the Pixel 8 could at least be capable of supporting staggered HDR, given the proper hardware.

Since the current generation of Pixel phones doesn’t support staggered HDR, Wojciechowski speculates that the Pixel 8 will come equipped with the Samsung GN1 sensor, which does.

The way Pixel phones process HDR photos now is by taking multiple shots at different exposures over the course of a few seconds or less, then combining them into a single image. And if you’re not holding your phone perfectly still, this can lead to blurry photos.

Staggered HDR solves this problem by simultaneously capturing multiple images at various exposures, eliminating the need to hold your phone perfectly still while HDR photos are captured. It also improves photos in mixed-lighting conditions by capturing short, middle, and long exposures and preserving the detail for all of them.

While there’s no official word on when the Pixel 8 will be released, if Google follows its annual schedule of the past few years, you can expect the Pixel 8 to hit store shelves in October 2023.

The 6 Best Android Smartphones of 2022

Samsung Galaxy S22+
Best Overall
Samsung Galaxy S22+
Google Pixel 6
Best Midrange
Google Pixel 6
OnePlus Nord N10 5G
Best Budget
OnePlus Nord N10 5G
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best Premium
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Google Pixel 4a
Best Small
Google Pixel 4a
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3
Best Foldable
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3

Sources: Android Central, Android Authority 

Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »