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Current HDR capture on Pixel phones from Google involves many short exposures, which can result in lengthy processing times and grainy photographs. Potentially, this weakness will be remedied in the following Pixel series.

Samsung’s explanation for the sensor’s superior performance in high-contrast situations is that staggered HDR expands the dynamic range of photographs taken in varying lighting conditions. Short, medium, and long exposures may be captured simultaneously using rolling shutters over the same pixel arrays, as Samsung explained at the time.

Staggered HDR captures three photos of a scene simultaneously, keeping clarity in both bright and dark areas, whereas most current image sensors only take one. The resulting image has an impressive spectrum of tones.

Staggered HDR is also more efficient in terms of power usage, with the South Korean tech giant claiming a 24% decrease in sensor power consumption compared to the real-time HDR mode of the Samsung GN1. According to Wojciechowski, this makes GN2 far more sophisticated than its forerunner, which does not enable staggered HDR.

Google’s Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 smartphone lines both use Samsung’s GN1 chip. If Wojciechowski’s finding is confirmed, it might mean a major improvement in camera sensor quality for the Pixel 8 line.

In addition, the leaker says that staggered HDR “allows attaining the same effect as standard HDR but without the added capture time,” suggesting that HDR photographs would be processed more quickly, resulting in dramatically crisper images.

The Pixel 8 versions may also have their auto-focusing boosted by Samsung’s Dual Pixel Pro technology, and their photographs brightened by Smart ISO Pro.