Google Pixel 6 Pro Periscope Camera is a modified design of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra module
The Google Pixel 6 Pro was launched in late 2021 and is considered the best smartphone Google has made to date. The phone is a premium device with specs that compete with the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The camera cluster on the Pixel 6 Pro has received positive reviews as well. A camera “bar” runs across the back of the phone. Many of the improvements are enabled by the Google Tensor processor, a custom designed chip that exploits Google’s expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning while maintaining battery life. AI is used to perform facial recognition, exposure and color control, low light imaging and video subject tracking amongst other functions.
The camera cluster doing the front-end lifting is a triple design with a 50 MP main camera, 12 MP ultrawide and 48 MP telephoto camera. The inclusion of a telephoto camera in this phone generation was intriguing and TechInsights decided to commission a Package analysis. The telephoto camera has a 104 mm focal length, f/3.5 and x4 optical zoom. The key innovation allowing the long focal length is the use of a periscope or “folded” optical train. Light enters the back of the phone and is reflected by a prism at right angles, allowing the lens barrel to run inside the phone body; this enables a much longer optical path. The periscope design is a recent advance in smartphone cameras we’ve been following closely in the Package channel. Notable recent analysis includes the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the Huawei P50 Pro.
When we cross-sectioned the camera we were struck by the similarities between this device and the previously analyzed Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra released in August, 2020. The prism housing and voice coils (used for Optical Image Stabilization) are virtually identical. The lens stack uses five lenses, a bezel and two shims in the same order, with the lenses having the same concavity and same approximate optical density. There are also small differences as well; the bezels have different shapes and in particular, the Xiaomi Mi 10 also has a sixth fixed lens.
Both cameras have 48 MP sensors. In the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, the sensor was identified as a Sony IMX598 and as shown in Figure 2, the sensor in the Google Pixel 6 Pro is likely the same. There are small differences in the wirebonded pads and number of discrete devices on the PWB.
A comparison of the camera metrics confirms the periscope camera in the Google Pixel 6 Pro is likely a derivative of the older Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra, and the camera is likely manufactured by the same company, at this time unidentified.
|Feature||Google Pixel 6 Pro||Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra|
|Focal Length||104 mm||120 mm|
|Optical Zoom||x 4||x 5|
|Package Length||29.5 mm||32.4 mm|
|Package Width||13.7 mm||13.7 mm|
|Package Height||6.8 mm||6.7 mm|
|Package Markings||Flex: G2 FOLDED
Flex: J1S FOLDED
|Lens Count||5 Moveable||5 Moveable
|Sensor ID||Sony IMX598 (suspected)||Sony IMX598|
|Sensor Diagonal||8.1 mm||8.0 mm|
|Sensor Bond Pads (total/in use)||95/87||95/86|
|Active Pixels||48 MP||48 MP|
|Pixel Pitch||0.8 µm||0.8 µm|
Figure 3. Comparison of design metrics in the Google Pixel 6 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra Periscope cameras.