One of the major highlights of the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones is the camera. Many publications agree that the Pixels have the best smartphone camera on the planet, even better than the many dual-lens flagships we already see on the market.
Despite all of their greatness, Google further suggested that users of the Pixel 2 phones are yet to see the full potential of the phones’ cameras. This message came during the release of the Android 8.1 DP1, where the company confirmed that the Pixel 2 handsets have a second chipset other than the Snapdragon 835 that powers it dubbed the Pixel Visual Core. This chipset is tied to the camera, where Google says it’s meant to provide faster HDR+ photos, but at the time, it was enabled.
Well, the wait is finally over as the new Android 8.1 DP2 has now enabled the Visual Core chip in the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones. App developers will be able to take advantage of this chipset to enable the HDR+ feature work even faster. Apparently, third party camera apps will also be able to take advantage of the Visual Core in order to deliver better shots. As for now, regular users will have to stick around a little bit longer before the feature hits the stable channels.
Other than enabling the Visual Core, the new Android 8.1 DP2 also brings fixes to the nagging microphone issues faced by Google Pixel 2 XL users. Some users of the flagship had reported issues when recording videos, more so noting that the audio was terrible. This was linked to the microphone, but as it turns out, this wasn’t the case. Apparently, the phone was choosing the wrong microphone for recording audio.
The Google Pixel 2 XL has a microphone at the bottom, the same mic that is used for phone calls. However, this is the same microphone the phone was using to record audio. After the update, the phone will now use the correct microphone, which is located on the opposite end of the device, a move that has had a huge impact on the quality of sound when recording videos.
Right now, the Android 8.1 update is still limited to developers, but it should start rolling out to regular users this December. This effectively makes the new DP2 the final beta of Android 8.1 Oreo.