Google confirms lens flare issue on the Pixel, pre-orders exceeding expectations

The Pixel and the Pixel XL are the two latest smartphones to come to market and unlike the rest of the major flagship pack, these are not ordinary revamping of an already-existing product. Instead, the Pixel and the Pixel XL mark the first of a new line of flagship devices and possibly more importantly, the first of a new line which is ‘made by Google’.

As to be expected with a new Google phone, marketed as it has been, the Pixel and the Pixel XL seem to be off to a flying start when it comes to early sales indicators. If you didn’t order a Pixel on launch day, you’ll probably be waiting a while. Several versions of the phone are sold out, and those that aren’t gone are showing shipping estimates of 3-4 weeks. Google has issued a short statement on the delays.

There was some concern that Google would not be able to convince people to buy a phone that starts at $650, including many experts and our Nexus fans jury but apparently that has not proven to be a problem. Well, we can’t blame anyone since it seems that even Google may have underestimated how popular the Pixel and the Pixel XL were to become, as in a statement picked up by 9to5Google, Google has made it clear that the pre-order demand “exceeded our expectations”. Here’s Google’s statement.

We’re thrilled to see the excitement for our new Pixel phones, and frankly pre-order demand has exceeded our expectations. We’re working to restock our inventory as soon as possible.

While we’re still on Google talking about the Phone by Google, the internet giant has another official statement. A redditor took to Google’s Product Forums and posted about something that has been reported several times among many Redditors. Many Pixel users are noticing that the camera is easily susceptible to lens flare, or the “halo effect” that you can see when the sun or a light source hits the camera at a specific angle.

Turns out, the halo effect is real. Google has finally confirmed that, yes, the Pixel does exhibit a fair amount of lens flaring (significantly more than you may be used to from other devices) and that it’s something that affects every Pixel — whether you’ve yet to run into the issue or not — so a hardware exchange wont resolve anything.

Google was quick to reply, it only took “a Googler” (someone from Google) less than two hours to reply to the post. IsaacOnCamera acknowledged the issue, explains why it is happening, and mentions that we can expect an update for the issue to be resolved via a software update.

“The Pixel camera’s lens structure is very highly controlled – this means that all Pixels take high-quality images, but it also means all Pixels have the same flare characteristics.”


Using new algorithms to identify the halo, Google believes they’ll be able to eliminate it from photos, almost like a quick PhotoShop job being done on the fly. Google says a future software update — arriving in the next few weeks — will help alleviate the appearance of the halo/light arc in photos.

As you already know, Google’s uses a lot of software tricks in its camera software to help with things like HDR+ and even image stabilization when shooting video. Now Google says it will fix this hardware issue with a software update which if it does, will only prove the strength of Google’s computational photography and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if in the future Google Photos becomes to photos what Youtube has become to videos.

Although that’s a really far-fetched thought, for the near future, this is just the beginning of how Google expects the Pixel camera to grow better over time.

Sources : 9to5 GooglePixel User Community


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