Google Camera 8.3 hints the Pixel 6 XL could have a 5X “ultra tele” camera

Google Camera 8.3 hints the Pixel 6 XL could have a 5X “ultra tele” camera

Earlier today, Google rolled out the third beta of Android 12 to Pixel phones. The latest beta adds new features like scrolling screenshots, smarter autorotation, and a whole lot of other features we’re in the midst of uncovering. Besides new features, there are also updated system apps, most notably a new WallpaperPicker and a new Google Camera app. The latter was updated to version 8.3.252, a notable bump from the previous version of 8.2.400. On the surface, the new Google Camera update seemingly only brings support for Android 12’s dynamic theming system. However, within the APK, we’ve discovered evidence that the Pixel 6 XL (or “Pro”) could have a 5X zoom “ultra tele” camera.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

Renowned Google Camera modder and XDA Senior Member cstark27 discovered a new line in the layout file for the Google Camera app’s zoom UI. The new line, which we’ve embedded below, has the id “zoom_toggle_ultratele” and the text “5x”, suggesting that a new 5X zoom option will be shown in the viewfinder.

<TextView android:textSize="@dimen/zoom_toggle_button_text_size" android:textColor="@color/zoom_toggle_bar_text_color" android:gravity="center" android:layout_gravity="right|center_vertical|center_horizontal|center" android:id="@+id/zoom_toggle_ultratele" android:clickable="false" android:layout_width="@dimen/zoom_toggle_unselected_button_size" android:layout_height="@dimen/zoom_toggle_unselected_button_size" android:text="5x" android:includeFontPadding="false" android:fontFamily="@font/google_sans_text_medium" android:textAlignment="center"/>

Digging deeper into the Google Camera app, we spotted a few references to the new “ultratele” zoom toggle. Although no direct evidence was found that links the “ultratele” zoom toggle to “raven”, the rumored code-name for the Pixel 6 XL/Pro, developer cstark27 found evidence that the “real” optical zoom level of the telephoto camera may be 4.3X. For reference, the Pixel 4’s “real” optical zoom level was 1.6X, though the Google Camera app displayed 2X as an option. Cstark27 also discovered that the zoom level of the ultra wide-angle camera is slightly different compared to the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 — specifically, it appears to now be 0.615X versus 0.670X.

Google Camera 8.3.252 code snippet

Last week, a leak from Jon Prosser revealed the specs of the Pixel 6 series. The leak suggested that the smaller Pixel 6 will have a dual rear camera setup comprised of a 50MP wide and a 12MP ultra wide-angle, while the larger Pixel 6 XL/Pro will have a triple rear camera setup comprised of a 50MP wide joined by a 48MP telephoto and a 12MP ultra wide-angle. There have been rumors before that Google will adopt a periscopic telephoto lens for one of its Pixel 6 series devices, and certainly, leaked CAD renders seemed to corroborate that possibility. A still image of the Google Camera app UI captured from a video Google shared at I/O 2021 also pointed toward the app gaining a 5X zoom option, but today’s app update is the first hard evidence pointing to a new 5X “ultra tele” zoom option.

As we get closer to the Pixel 6 series launch later this fall, we’ll likely learn more information about the camera setup and features of the two devices. It should also become clearer what the larger model will be called, as new evidence suggests the phone will be called the Pixel 6 XL rather than the Pixel 6 Pro.

Featured image credits: OnLeaks and 91Mobiles. Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.

About author

Mishaal Rahman
Mishaal Rahman

I am the former Editor-in-chief of XDA. In addition to breaking news on the Android OS and mobile devices, I used to manage all editorial and reviews content on the Portal.