The reason for the Google Pixel 3’s huge display notch? ‘Super Selfies’

The reason for the Google Pixel 3’s huge display notch? ‘Super Selfies’

Insiders claim Google's upcoming smartphones have a large display notch to house two front cameras

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The Google Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones aren't expected to arrive until early October, but numerous high-profile leaks, black market sales, and even a 'review' from a Russian publication, mean very little has been left to the imagination.

The latest piece of smartphone gossip claims the large - and, to our eyes, somewhat unsightly — screen notch at the top of Google's new phones is there because it houses two front cameras, and they are capable of shooting 'Super Selfies.'"

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If accurate, this is an interesting move from Google, as for the previous two generations of Pixel (and for the third, according to leaked images), the company has installed just one camera in the back and one in the front. While rivals like Apple, LG and Samsung install three, four or even five cameras, Google claims it can do a better job with one — and artificial intelligence.

So far, this has proved to be a winning formula for Google, as the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have what we believe are the best rear cameras of any smartphone currently on sale — even though they are now almost a year old.

It is interesting then, that Google has changed course for the front camera of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, installing two lenses in the enlarged display notch. These cameras, according to sources speaking to 9to5Google, can take "Super Selfies," thanks to one of them having a wide-angle lens.

According to the sources, Google wants the Pixel 3 to take better selfies with improved bokeh effect, the blurred background created by SLR cameras and mimicked (with varying success) by all of today's high-end smartphones.

The inclusion of a wide-angle lens will make it easier to take photos with groups of people, or to include more of the background in your self-portraits — useful when trying to get that iconic landmark into the background of your showing-off-while-on-vacation photos.

Google will not be first to the wide-angle selfie party, as phones by Lenovo, Vivo and Oppo all offer a similar setup. However, Google's artificial intelligence is likely to make its photos outshine the competition, just as it did with the Pixel 2's front and rear cameras.

What the large notch will not contain, according to the sources, is a new form of facial recognition system. This rules out Google installing its answer to Apple's Face ID, although the Pixel 3 will likely still use 'Trusted Face', a feature from previous Pixel phones which uses the cameras (instead of bespoke face-scanning hardware) to recognize its owner and unlock.

It is claimed that the Pixel 3 has leaked so comprehensively because someone in the Ukraine got hold of a shipment of the phones and is selling them on the black market for $2,000 each, more than double their expected retail price.

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL — and potentially a new Google Home smart speaker - are expected to be revealed at a press event on October 4.

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