Shooting high-resolution videos is something you can do on quite a few smartphones, with 4K and even 8K being available on many flagship phones – that’s not the case for front-facing cameras though, where 1080p is generally the highest resolution (a quarter of that of 4K). For the Google Pixel 6, though, that might not be the case.
This comes because a new version of the Google Camera app has been launched and 9to5Google dug through the code to find any interesting points of note. As the title of this article suggests, the Pixel 6 gets featured.
According to the code, the Google Pixel 6 will have its punch-hole front-facing camera cut-out moved – in the Pixel 5 it’s to the top left of the screen, but apparently the Pixel 6 will have it in the top center.
That’s not the big news though – we’ve also heard the Pixel 6 will record front-facing video at a 4K resolution, something very, very few smartphones do right now (and the few exceptions are super-premium phones like the Huawei Mate 40 Pro).
Why 4K front camera recording?
If you’re recording a TikTok video or sending a video of yourself to a friend, you don’t need 4K video for the front-facing camera, or even 1080p for that matter. But there are a few use cases where it can be very important.
Watch the first 10 seconds of the above video, recorded for TechRadar’s YouTube channel. It was shot in 4K on the aforementioned Huawei Mate 40 Pro, using the front-facing camera, though the finished video is 1080p.
When recording the video, thanks to it being on the front-facing camera we could see ourselves, and therefore adjust the frame better – because it was shot in 4K, we could therefore crop it more when editing the video, to get the perfect angle and framing we wanted. If we’d shot in 1080p, by using almost any other phone, this wouldn’t be possible.
So for professionals, or people who’ll want fully-usable footage recorded on the front-facing camera for a range of tasks, the ability for a smartphone’s front-facing camera to record 4K video is a really useful tool.
We’ll have to wait until the Google Pixel 6 launches to see if this is an actual feature coming to the phone, though, or just code in the app referring to something else. The phone is expected to launch towards the end of 2021, so there’s some time to wait.