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Google designer teased 20x zoom Pixel 4 camera – and then disappointed us

For a brief moment on Monday the smartphone world got itself needlessly worked up about the possibility of a 20x zoom camera on the Google Pixel 4 handsets.

An Instagram post from Google’s own director of design Claude Zellweger was mistakenly interpreted as a tease the company was bringing super zoom capacities to the next-generation handset.

In a comment to a fellow Google employee Alberto Villarreal, Zellweger wrote: “20x zoom #pixel,” leading many to believe Google was planning to build on the 10x max zoom available on the Pixel 3a devices.

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The image, which you can see below (via 9to5Google), seemed incredibly crisp and clear for that level of magnification, but there was more to there story than originally met the eye.

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Light + Shadow #googleIDstudio

A post shared by Claude Zellweger (@claudezellweger) on

The Googler sought to clarify the situation a little while later, saying the image had been taken with a Pixel 3a with zooming and cropping.

He wrote: “Just to be clear: This shot was taken with a Pixel 3a. Zooming + cropping did the trick. I love this phone! #pixel3a.”

Of course, it is possible Zellweger wasn’t supposed to reveal the feature and he’s just covering his tracks after censure from the PR department. However, considering Google hasn’t been shy about giving away Pixel 4 feature to date, this seems less likely. The company took the unusual step of revealing the design for the Pixel 4 earlier this summer and recently retailed the new face unlock and motion sense features packed into the front facing camera and associated sensors.

Regardless of whether the rear camera offers 20x zoom, we are expecting greater zoom capabilities when the Pixel 4 devices are announced, likely in October. The company is switching to a multi-lens solution for the first time in the history of the Pixel range. That could mean an advanced telephoto solution will be integrated this time around.

What are you hoping to see from the Pixel 4’s new camera array? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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