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February 8, 2018

The Pixel Visual Core, explained

by John_A

The Pixel Visual Core is a special piece of silicon that’s unique to Google’s Pixel 2 phones. In short, it’s a custom chip designed to help with the Pixel’s HDR+ image processing — that’s the computational secret sauce that makes the Pixel 2 camera so great.

But it’s also a little misunderstood — the visual core isn’t necessarily used in every photo your Pixel takes, even since Google enabled it by default in the February update for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

So we’re going to take a step back here, and go over what the Visual Core is, what it does and doesn’t do — and the differences now that Pixel 2 owners can use it. Check out our explainer video above to find out everything you need to know about the Pixel Visual Core!

  • Android Central on YouTube
  • Google Pixel 2 + Pixel 2 XL review
  • How to update your Pixel to the latest version
  • More on the Pixel Visual Core

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