Google's Pixel 7 Has One Fascinating Camera Feature That the iPhone Is Missing
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have a helpful camera trick that you won't find on the iPhone, which can potentially breathe new life into your older photos.
Andrew LanxonEditor At Large, Lead Photographer, Europe
Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
Google's Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, announced Thursday at Google's Pixel event, both highlight improved cameras that will may hold their own against the excellent camera quality seen on Apple's iPhone 14 line. But these new Pixel phones have a neat trick up their sleeve that you won't find on iPhone. It's called Photo Unblur, and the feature could breathe new life into blurry shots you might otherwise throw away.
Using AI powered by the Pixel's new Tensor G2 chip, the phone analyzes an image and applies sharpening to help resolve blurry details, especially on someone's face. The Pixel 6 line already had a Face Unblur tool, but this new mode appears to go further. It appears to have the capability of resolving even more details in photos beyond just faces, and can fix up photos that weren't originally taken on a Pixel phone.
Like Google's Magic Eraser that removes people or objects from photos, Photo Unblur is found in the editing tools within the photo library. It will either automatically pop up as a suggested edit or can be manually applied. The feature will be available on the Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro, but it's unclear whether it will come to the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro via an update.
How well it works in practice, especially on older photos taken years ago, remains to be seen. Yet it's interesting to see the ways Google is making use of AI and machine learning to continue to improve photography.
The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro pack a range of other improvements, including refreshed designs, the latest Google processors and updated camera hardware. We're super excited to get our hands on them but you can read all about them in our extensive hands-on coverage so far in the links on this page.
Watch this: Everything Revealed at Google's Pixel Event (October 2022)