The Google Pixel 4 second camera mystery may have been solved

We’ve seen the back of Google’s Pixel 4, in the literal sense, but Google hasn’t served up any knowledge of the function that additional camera lens will actually perform.

Now, hiding in plain sight within the latest Android Q beta, we may have learned the truth. As spied within the Google Camera v6.3 app, there’s a couple of apparent references to a telephoto lens.

Found by the eagle-eyed folks at XDA Developers, there’s a new SABRE_UNZOOMED_TELEPHOTO field, and one sensor ID reading ID_REAR_TELEPHOTO, surely suggesting the identity of that second rear camera lens.

Sabre is the assumed codename for the Super Res Zoom mode on Pixel 4 smartphone, which is due out in October running the completed Android Q operating system. There are other camera hints within the code string too. One reference refers to a front IR sensor, which could mean “infrared” and could be used for facial recognition and an Apple Face ID-like biometric security tool.

Related: Pixel 4 features we want to see

Elsewhere in the latest Android Q beta it has emerged that Google is making Night Sight one of the main modes on the camera. The code also suggests there’ll be new options for segmenting and optimising the sky. It’s not precisely clear what either would do, but improvements are always welcome, even for one of those most proficient camera modes out there.

Google has done a fantastic job of creating arguably the best smartphone cameras, despite only focusing on the one rear lens. The Pixel 4 will be the first device in the history of the range to have multiple rear cameras, which Google confirmed by posting an image as the back of the device.

Elsewhere we’re fully expecting the phones to offer the Qualcomm 855 system-on-a-chip, combined with 6GB of RAM. Android Q will be available out of the box, of course. Google will also release a Pixel 4 XL device, if history is repeated.

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