Google Pixel Ultra could have the best phone camera ever

Other flagships like the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra could have real competition

Google Pixel 7 Pro review
(Image credit: Future / Mike Lowe)

Since the Google Pixel 7 and Google Pixel 7 Pro were released last week, you might have expected the torrent of leaks and rumours to slow down or stop altogether. You'd be wrong though. We've already seen details about the Google Pixel Fold and Google Pixel Tablet, including screen dimensions and a Touch ID sensor.

Now, another rumoured device is the subject of leaks: the Google Pixel Ultra. We've never had any concrete confirmation of an "Ultra" variant of the Pixel series, so where has this come from? One developer, Kuba Wojciechowski (opens in new tab), has dived into the source code for the Pixel 7 series. Inside, reference is made to "Lynx", a device which has been touted as a new top-spec Pixel handset.

This time, the headline is a Sony IMX712 sensor, which is reported by Ice Universe (opens in new tab) to be a 1" design. If that's the case, it could be the best smartphone camera we've ever seen.

Google Pixel 7 Pro photography is fantastic

Currently, Google's flagship Android phone is the Google Pixel 7 Pro. Among a slew of features announced for the Pixel 7 series, the Pixel 7 Pro features some of the best camera software in a phone today. 

I've previously said that the Google Pixel 7 Pro camera redefines the standard for phone photography. One of the standout features sees a zoomed in image re-mosaic grainy pixels from other shots in the same burst. 

That means that images taken with anything from 2x to 10x zoom will look as sharp as an image taken without zoom at all. The resultant 12MP images look fantastic, as you can see below.

Now, if the rumours are to be believed, the Google Pixel Ultra could raise the bar again. With a bigger sensor, Google's camera software will have more light and more pixels to play with. That means a better resolution when zooming in on images, and could further enhance the quality of the Pixel camera offering.

It's a big "if" though: information on "Lynx" currently changes about as frequently as the UK Chancellor. In July, Wojciechowski called it a testing device for different sensors. Now, it's the unreleased top-tier offering from Google's Pixel range.

It's safe to say no-one really knows, then. Speculation will persist, but until it comes from Google, it may be worth taking with a pinch of salt.

Sam Cross
Trainee Online Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism. With a passion for all things digital, he specialises in mobile phones, wearable technology, smart homes and TVs. Sam is an expert on Apple products, including iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches and MacBook's. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, golfer and watch lover.