Google Camera hints Pixel 6 XL could have 5X “ultra tele” camera

Earlier today, Google unveiled the third beta of Android 12 on Pixel phones. The latest beta adds new features, such as scrolling screenshots, smarter auto-rotary signal, and many other features at our disposal. In addition to the new features, there are also updated system applications, mainly a new WallpaperPicker and a new Google Camera application. The latter was updated to version 8.3.252, a notable hit from the previous version of 8.2.400. On the surface, the new Google Camera update seems to offer only support for the dynamic Android 12 theme system. However, inside the APK, we found evidence that the Pixel 6 XL (or “Pro”) could have a 5X zoom camera “ultra tele”.

The APK application can often predict features that may reach a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features listed here will not do so in a future release. This is because these features are not currently implemented in the live version and may be downloaded by developers at any time in a future version.

The famous Google Camera modifier and XDA Senior Member cstark27 have discovered a new line in the layout file for the Google Camera zoom user interface. The new bar, which we have integrated below, has the “zoom_toggle_ultratele” ID and the text “5x”, indicating that a new 5X zoom option will appear in the viewfinder.

<TextView android:textSize="@dimen/zoom_toggle_button_text_size" android:textColor="@color/zoom_toggle_bar_text_color" android:gravity="center" android:layout_gravity="right|center_vertical|center_horizontal|center" android:id="@+id/zoom_toggle_ultratele" android:clickable="false" android:layout_width="@dimen/zoom_toggle_unselected_button_size" android:layout_height="@dimen/zoom_toggle_unselected_button_size" android:text="5x" android:includeFontPadding="false" android:fontFamily="@font/google_sans_text_medium" android:textAlignment="center"/>

Going deeper into the Google Camera app, we found some references to the new “ultratele” zoom switch. Although no direct evidence was found linking the “ultratele” zoom switch to “raven”, the rumored code name for the Pixel 6 XL / Pro, the developer cstark27 found evidence that the “true” optical zoom level of the telephoto camera may be is 4.3X. For reference, the “real” optical zoom level of the Pixel 4 was 1.6X, although the Google Camera app featured 2X as an option. The Cstark27 also found that the ultra-wide-angle camera zoom level is slightly different from the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 – in particular, it now appears to be 0.615X vs. 0.670X.

Google Camera snippet of code 8.3.252

Last week, a leak from Jon Prosser revealed the specifications of the Pixel 6 series. The leak suggests that the smaller Pixel 6 will have a dual rear camera setting consisting of 50MP wide and an extremely wide 12MP angle, while the larger Pixel 6 XL / Pro will have a triple rear camera setting that will consist of 50MP width and will have 48MP telephoto lens and extremely wide 12MP angle. There have been rumors before that Google will adopt a periscope telephoto lens for one of the Pixel 6 series devices, and certainly the CAD leaks that seemed to confirm this possibility. A still image of the Google Camera app UI taken from a video shared by Google at I / O 2021 also showed the app gaining a 5x zoom option, but today app update is the first hard evidence showing a new zoom 5X “ultra tele” option.

As we approach the release of the Pixel 6 series later this fall, we will probably learn more about camera setup and the capabilities of both devices. It should also be made clearer what the larger model will be called, as new evidence suggests that the phone will be called the Pixel 6 XL and not the Pixel 6 Pro.

Suggested image credits: OnLeaks and 91Mobiles. Thanks to the PNF software that provided us with a license JEB decomposer, a professional reverse engineering tool for Android applications.

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