Google’s Pixel lineup has set the bar when it comes to smartphone image processing the past few years, but the company has failed to deliver a similar experience when it comes to recording video. The 2018 Pixel 3 suffered from a horrible audio recording issue and last year’s Pixel 4 hit the market with 4K video capture which was capped at 30fps while most other 2019 flagship devices were capable of 4K video capture at 60fps.
Thanks to a new leak, we now know that Google’s camera engineers have started working on the issue. The latest Google Camera 7.4 build has been pulled from the upcoming Pixel 4a, revealing a new “camcorder.4k60fps” camera mode in the code. While the app doesn’t reveal any additional details, it does give us hope that an update will soon be made available that will deliver 4K video capture at 60fps for the Pixel 4 as well.
When the Pixel 4 was unveiled, Google claimed that the feature was not implemented simply because 4K video capture on smartphones wasn’t nearly as popular as 1080p. That may certainly be true, but a later report revealed that the Pixel 4 simply didn’t have enough bandwidth to process simultaneous 4K 60fps streams from the phone’s two rear cameras. Other manufacturers have gotten around this issue by limiting 4K/60 video capture to just one camera or reducing the bit rate slightly.
Since the Pixel 4 just receive a feature drop this past week, if Google doesn’t figure out a way to implement 4K/60 video capture on the Pixel 4, don’t expect it to show up until later this spring. If the feature is only made available on the Pixel 4a, Google will have some explaining to do.