large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

The Pixel 3’s camera just got a little bit easier to use

Google has got rid of the Smart Burst camera feature on its Pixel 3 in favour of the very similar but slightly simpler Top Shot.

Both Top Shot and the now-removed Smart Burst were designed to help Pixel users get the best picture possible out of a sequence of photos but, Smart Burst just isn’t as smart as its replacement.

Read our review of the Google Pixel 3

Top Shot works by automatically capturing the moments just before, and directly after, you hit the camera shutter. You can then choose from a series of photos, including the one you snapped and a couple of high-quality HDR+ alternatives handpicked by the AI-run feature.

Smart Burst, on the other hand, works by taking a stream of photos from the moment you place your finger on the shutter until you let go. Smart Burst can capture up to 10 shots per second so you have plenty of options to pick from.

While the two have been co-existing peacefully since Top Shot was announced late last year, Google is finally dropping Smart Burst (at least for the Pixel 3).

The changes were originally spotted in the latest camera update by Android Police, though Google also published a changelog for the camera update last week with the line: “Smart Burst mode disabled for Pixel 3/3XL”.

With Smart Burst’s removal, the Night Sight and Panorama features have since switched places to make the camera settings a little easier to navigate.

If you’re using an older Pixel without the Top Shot feature, it looks like you’ll get to hang on to Smart Burst for now – or at least until Top Shot reaches your handset.

Related: Android 10 features

The Pixel camera update is rolling out via the Play Store for Pixel 3 now and it is also included in the Android 10 update, which is set to hit all Pixel phones over the coming week.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.