Google rebrands Nokia’s old camera feature in Pixel 8

Google has recently announced its new Pixel 8 and 8 Pro, which have been leaked repeatedly, so there are no surprises regarding the phones’ appearance. However, there were some surprises regarding some of the features presented as Google’s original software.

The phones are good, as Pixels tend to be—simple and usable but a bit pricey. In pre-orders, you can get the Pixel 8 starting at $699 and the Pixel 8 Pro starting from $999. But hey, you’re paying for the Google Tensor processor, a 6.2-inch OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 50 MP main camera with excellent software, and seven years of software updates, including Android OS upgrades, security updates, and regular feature drops.

Now, this new camera features some niche imaging solutions powered by AI. One of these imaging features is the ability to take multiple pictures of a group of people and then select the best faces from each person to improve a photo. In fact, you can remove all the blinking faces, people who are not focused on the camera and are looking around, etc.

Google calls it “Best Take“, and since it has a name for it, it is being branded as something new and cool. However, it all feels a bit too familiar to me and other Nokia fans.

If you don’t know what I’m referring to, let me remind you that back in 2012, Nokia released an imaging software solution called “Smart Shoot.” It was a camera app that took multiple frames and allowed the user to remove people’s faces that didn’t turn out well, unwanted or moving objects, or even use a different frame. Smart Shoot was included in the Lumia Camera app with the Lumia 925. In fact, it was later renamed “Smart Camera” and had even more useful features.

Here are some videos to remind you of Nokia’s great feature:

Nokia Lumia 620 with Smart Shoot (2012)

Nokia Lumia 925 Smart Camera app (2013)

Google Pixel 8 with its “Best Take” feature

So, we’re having another ‘Nokia did it first’ moment, demonstrating that Nokia was ahead of its time. But I’m not upset that this technology is being used again or rebranded. As the old expression goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Additionally, Google is next to Apple as the only company that can use and even improve this software feature, keeping Nokia’s spirit alive.