Pixel 3 has a great camera, but it was missing when Google opened the phone last month. Part of this feeling stems from Google's focus on developing software that implies that the phone is constantly updated. However, it is because Google has not yet offered one of its main features.
As of today, Night Vision – Google's new night mode – finally reaches all the owners of Pixel 3. After a few days of trying, I'd say it's worth the wait.
Previously, when you were exposed to some low light conditions, Pixel 3 had difficulty in obtaining the results of other phones with more sophisticated aperture techniques such as the Galaxy Note 9 or the wider diaphragm lens, or the impressive night mode of Huawei. This started the use of HDR photography earlier this year with the launch of the P20 Pro.
But Night Vision is before and after. Pixel 3 is now able to take amazing photos in low light, as it improves Google's computational photography capabilities. And to prove it, I took out the best smartphone cameras for a nighttime comparison.
A quick note before the photos arrive. Accessing Night Vision is as easy as navigating to the Other tab in Google Camera and then touching the Night icon. But when you take a picture, it's not a simple click and you're done. As in Huawei's night mode, Night Sight captures multiple images in a three to four second window and then combines these images to create a final picture that looks better than each original frame. This means you need to keep your phone as solid as possible to get the best results.
Now let's go to the photos. To create a starting point, I started taking two pictures while Pixel 3, Night Sight is disabled and the other is Night Sight enabled. Although, in some ways, I liked the image taken without the Night Sight (because the colors are richer and the exposure is darker, which creates a more sombre final image), the photo taken with Night Sight is clearly superior in detail and sharpness. The text in the poster looks clearer, the image has less noise, and wherever you look, you can see each brick in the building.
Then, I came across Pixel 3 and Galaxy Note 9: a diaphragm lens supported by the touch of artificial intelligence. This time at a local bar. While the two photos look very good in the distance, you can see things like a very yellowish color in Samsung cameras while working in low light.
However, when you review pixels at 100%, you can appreciate small details, such as the overall sharpness of the labels, or the ability to clearly capture the texture of the wood wall and the beer taps.
For the third challenge, I took a night urban landscape photo with the new Mate 20 Pro from Pixel 3 and Huawei. Even though the image of Pixel 3 shows that the details such as the hard pink line of the lights in the middle building have increased excessively, Night Vision has already passed the night mode of Huawei, the best way to capture challenging scenes with a small shot. Light.
As you can see, I decided to check if Night Sight works with Google's Super Res Zoom function (combining a few images to reduce noise with digital zoom) and it seems. What is most striking, however, is that a camera with a 3x zoom, such as the Mate 20 Pro, is so blurry when night mode is activated. Part of it may have to hold both phones, which is far from the ideals, but both images are taken under the same conditions one after another, and I don't understand why it's so hard for Mate 20.
Finally, the hardest challenge: Pixel 3 and I took a photo with an iPhone XS from a pizza burned with just a candle. The difference cannot be greater. The colors in pixel 3 are brighter, have better contrast, and despite the dark background sounds, everything else is clearer. If you take a lot of photos in low-light restaurants, it's enough to say that Night Vision Pixel 3 is probably your ideal camera.
Night Vision is exactly what you need to complete the Pixel 3 photo set. However, the biggest winners of all of these may be the owners of Pixel 1 and Pixel 2, who will also receive Night Vision in the coming days. Google's night mode is now available as an update to the Pixel 3 camera application via Google Play.