Google Pixel 2 lineup enables Pixel Visual Core to enhance camera experience on third-party apps

The software update is rolling out for Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL over the next few days.

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  3. Google Pixel 2 lineup enables Pixel Visual Core to enhance camera experience on third-party apps


    • Pixel Visual Core image processing chip to enable soon
    • It will allow third-party apps to utilise HDR+ capability
    • The chip runs RAISR that uses machine learning system

We all know for a fact that Google Pixel 2 lineup has a single rear camera, unlike today’s dual camera trend out there. But Pixel 2’s single lens competes with Apple iPhone X’s dual camera lens. In fact, the Pixel 2 XL in particular also won Techook’s best camera smartphone award for the year 2017. But to our surprise, Google’s second generation of Pixel lineup consists of a hidden image-processing chip called Pixel Visual Core inside their handsets, and yet they kept it inactive for months.

However, Google on Monday announced a software rollout to enable the chip, so that it can bring HDR+ capability to third-party apps and allow machine learning. Notably, the Visual Core was activated Pixel 2 main courtesy of Android 8.1 Oreo update. Soon, it will function other camera apps like Instagram and Snapchat utilising Google APIs.

“Pixel Visual Core also runs RAISR, which means zoomed-in shots look sharper and more detailed than ever before. Plus, it has Zero Shutter Lag to capture the frame right when you press the shutter, so you can time shots perfectly,” Ofer Shacham, the Pixel Visual Core engineering manager said in a blog post.


While Pixel 2 lineup as a whole is capable of capturing impressive, Pixel Visual Core will let third-party apps work with HDR+. It can also achieve a wider dynamic range and use the HDR+ algorithm for more details in low light photography.

Pixel Visual Core is built to do heavy-lifting image processing while using less power, which saves battery. That means we’re able to use that additional computing power to improve the quality of your pictures by running the HDR+ algorithm,” Google further added.

All Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL users shall receive the update in the next few days. Meanwhile, Google is also planning to bring some augmented reality (AR) camera stickers to celebrate Winter Olympics later this year.