Google's Pixel 6 XL tipped to get 5x telephoto camera, says report

Google's updated camera app reportedly hints at the professional-focused version of the Pixel 6 getting a periscope lens.

Sareena Dayaram Senior Editor
Sareena is a senior editor for CNET covering the mobile beat including device reviews. She is a seasoned multimedia journalist with more than a decade's worth of experience producing stories for television and digital publications across Asia's financial capitals including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Mumbai. Prior to CNET, Sareena worked at CNN as a news writer and Reuters as a producer.
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A major leak dropped last week, revealing reported specs of the upcoming Pixel 6 series. Now we're getting even more clues on what Google's upcoming flagship might look like, particularly its camera modules.

According to a Thursday report by XDA Developers, Google's updated camera app, Google Camera 8.3.252, has lines of code indicating that a new 5x zoom option will be present in the viewfinder. This suggests a periscope-style telephoto lens will be part of the Pixel 6's camera module -- and it'll likely be the model aimed at professional users. If this turns out to be the case, the Pixel 6's optical zoom capability would be on par with Samsung's Galaxy S20 Ultra.

After digging deeper into the app's code, a member of XDA Developers found "a few references" to an "ultratele" zoom toggle, indicating the composition of Pixel 6 XL's camera module.

A big leak from Jon Prosser last week pointed to the specs of the Pixel 6 series, which is expected to launch in the fall. The leak suggested that the base Pixel 6 will have two rear cameras taking the form of a 50-megapixel wide lens and a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle lens, and the Pixel 6 XL (or Pro) will get a three cameras on its rear: a 50-megapixel wide angle accompanied by a 48-megapixel telephoto lens and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens. 

Google couldn't immediately be reached for comment.