These normal, everyday photos I took with the Pixel 4 show what one of the best smartphone cameras in the world can do

Google's Pixel 4.

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Google’s Pixel 4.
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Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Google’s Pixel phones are often touted for having the best smartphone cameras, and the company’s latest flagship is no exception: The new Pixel 4 starts at $800, and comes with a killer set of lenses.

I’ve been using the Pixel 4 ever since it arrived back in October, and that means a lot of photos – mostly the kind of perfectly normal, everyday photos that aren’t actively trying to test the limits of the Pixel 4’s camera. Instead, the photos below aim to give you an idea of what the Pixel 4’s camera can do on a day-to-day basis.

Check it out:


The Pixel 4 is still one of the best cameras for accurate colors — this Japanese Maple tree gets absurdly red during the fall, and the Pixel 4 does a remarkable job of capturing its color.

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The Pixel 4 also does justice to cityscapes. It has good HDR, which means it captures a wider range of light — more detail in shaded areas, for instance. The Pixel 4’s HDR is the most active out of all the Pixel phones so far.

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The Pixel 4’s HDR does well to capture indoor shots as well as the details outside the window.

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Sometimes, the Pixel 4’s HDR is so good that some details look fake, like these clouds. Their details were invisible to the eye because they were so bright, but the Pixel 4 amazingly captured those details, which is both a good and bad thing.

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This photos shows how the Pixel 4 deals with color, contrast, and finer details.

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A typical downtown scene.

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The firehouse downtown and leaves turning.

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A park path in fall in New England.

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A pond and a bridge with no zoom.

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The same pond and bridge at 2x zoom.

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And again, but with the Pixel 4’s maximum of 8x zoom.

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Here’s another zoomed photo and a look that’ll make you check over your shoulder every so often. It’s not bad, but you can still tell it’s artificially zoomed.

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Sometimes the Pixel 4’s zooming falls short on detail and sharpness.

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Back from a walk, and I found one of my cats like this.

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A closeup shot of a tag on a tree with the blurry background “bokeh” effect, taken with the standard camera mode, not portrait mode.

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This photo taken at twilight wasn’t taken with Night Sight.

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Here’s a low-light indoor shot, also taken without Night Sight.

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The Pixel 4 suggested I take this photo with Night Sight because the subject, a Hummer, is a dark color. Considering how little light there was, the Pixel 4 did a great job capturing this chunky car’s detail — a testament to Night Sight’s capability.

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Here’s my town’s firehouse at night, taken with the Pixel 4’s Night Sight. It’s truly impressive.

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And here’s astrophotography mode about 35 miles outside New York City where light pollution isn’t too bad. Unless you live under an interesting night sky, the Pixel 4’s astrophotography mode is likely a one-time gimmick. Perhaps I’ll get better results in upcoming trips.

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Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider