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‘Fixed on Pixel’ – How ‘Unblur’ actually works and what Pixel phones can use it

Among all of the cool tricks that the Pixel from Google can do, Photo Unblur is one of the coolest, hands down. The feature comes as a part of Google’s “Fixed on Pixel” campaign, which features tools in its photo suite. So what does it do and which phones can actually use it? Here are the details.

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How Unblur works and what it works on

Photo Unblur is a deceptively simple feature. In its most basic form, the functionality takes blurry images and uses a bit of AI and machine learning to reconstruct the image, except this time the image is in focus more so than it was previously.

The feature can take newly captured or old images and reduce the amount of blur to a surprisingly low level, leaving a crisp image. For older images, users can take a photo of it using their Pixel and crop it down or even scan the image. The Pixel just needs an image in general that it can render out into something with more concise details.

  1. Head to the Google Photos app on your Pixel 7.
  2. Find a blurry image and tap it.
  3. Tap Edit.
  4. Tap Unblur.
  5. Choose the strength.

Fixed on Pixel’s Photo Unblur can sort of be a hit or miss, depending on other factors in the image. If the image is older and has a lot of film or digital noise, Unblur can get confused and try to tighten up pixels where it shouldn’t. Generally, you’ll need a pretty clear image that’s out of focus. When done, the image isn’t always perfect, but it’s undeniably better than it was before.

The feature works great for one-off shots that were fantastic in composure but didn’t come out in focus. With those guidelines, the Unblur feature works well, especially considering the feat it undergoes when taking an unsalvageable image and making something out of it.

What Pixel phones is Unblur available on?

While the feature can work on just about any image taken on any phone or camera, Photo Unblur is an exclusive feature of the Pixel 7 series. That includes both the base Pixel 7 and the Pixel 7 Pro.

Because the Tensor G2 is needed for the feature, the Pixel 7 is the only device that can make use of it for now. Even the Pixel 6 with Tensor chip can’t use the feature, though the SoC is built on the same machine learning focus.

The feature will very likely make its way to future Pixel devices like the expected Pixel Fold and Pixel 8, though it’s unlikely we’ll see Unblur come to previous versions. If it did, we’d see a limited version of it that may not work quite as well as on the Pixel 7.

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