Pixel 3 camera could avoid taking unflattering photos, according to leak

Also, things look good for a Google Home Hub.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Expertise Processors, semiconductors, web browsers, quantum computing, supercomputers, AI, 3D printing, drones, computer science, physics, programming, materials science, USB, UWB, Android, digital photography, science. Credentials
  • Shankland covered the tech industry for more than 25 years and was a science writer for five years before that. He has deep expertise in microprocessors, digital photography, computer hardware and software, internet standards, web technology, and more.
Stephen Shankland
Google's Pixel 2 XL has a single camera, unlike rival flagship phones from Apple and Samsung. The second circle is a fingerprint reader.

Google's Pixel 2 XL camera

Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google's upcoming Pixel 3 smartphones could come with a "Top Shot" mode to capture photos of people at the moment they're looking their best, the newest in a series of Pixel 3 leaks indicates.

"Use Top Shot to get smiles, not blinks, and take groupie selfies that get everyone in the photo (without a selfie stick)," say apparent promotional materials tweeted by Front Page Tech's Jon Prosser.

Google is a leader in computational photography -- techniques to use computer processing to overcome shortcomings of camera hardware. The Pixel line has a strong photography reputation, but it's not the first company to embrace the idea. For example, Sony builds its smile shutter feature into some cameras.

Google is expected to debut the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones along with other hardware products we expect at a Tuesday press event in New York. Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The promotional materials also lend credence to a possible debut of the Google Home Hub, a competitor to the newly redesigned Amazon Echo Show smart speaker.

"Ask questions and get visual, immersive answers from Google on weather, recipes, local business info, and more," the promotional materials say. "You can even watch helpful videos from YouTube," something that's been a sticking point for the Echo Show.