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Google reveals its first ever mobile chip, powering Pixel 2's camera

18 October 2017

Using the new chip, HDR+ can run five times faster than running on the application processor, and at less than a tenth of the energy.

The flagship devices received the highest DxOMark rating surpassing Apple iPhone 8 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 8 cameras and it is all possible because of the Google's image processing unit called Pixel Visual Core.

Currently, the Pixel Visual Core is deactivated in all the Pixel 2 devices, however, Google will activate it in the upcoming months with the help of a software update. On Wednesday, October 18, Pixel 2 version 1.7 was rolled out with a couple of performance improvements.

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Apparently, Google has a lot of tricks up its sleeve for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, one of which is a hidden image processor that is the Pixel Visual Core.

Google says that the expansion of the HDR+ mode is just the start - Pixel Visual Core is a programmable chip and the company is already working to prepare more applications to expand the Pixel 2's capabilities. It even has its own set of eight cores and RAM.

For the record, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both sport the same 12.2-megapixel f/1.8 rear camera and 8-megapixel f/2.4 front snapper. It means that non-native apps can utilize the enhanced image quality from the Google Pixel 2 HDR+ mode.

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Long-presses which bring up re-designed pop-up menus for apps and the home screen on the Pixel 2, also feature in the Nova Launcher, alongside the new icon animations brought in with the latest Pixel Launcher.

Google's Pixel 2 has arguably the best take on Android around, with it's slick Pixel Launcher making navigating Android 8.0 Oreo a joy when compared to other phones with heavy skins and user interfaces over the mobile operating system. Initially the only app that will be able to use it is the HDR+ feature in Google's camera app, and after that it will open up to third-party photography apps through the Android Camera API.

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Google reveals its first ever mobile chip, powering Pixel 2's camera