Video Mode

The video interface offers a few basic settings but has otherwise been kept very simple.

The Google Pixel XL can capture 720p, 1080p Full-HD or 4K video clips. Slow-motion video is a separate mode and you can choose from 720p footage at 240 frames per second or Full-HD resolution at 120 fps.

On the camera app's main screen you have to swipe right to enter video mode. From the video screen you can adjust the frame rate, frame line pattern and white balance or switch on the video light. Once recording has started you can pause or snap a still image. To change the video resolution you'll have to go to the settings menu. As in stills mode the focus and exposure point can be set by tapping onto the screen. In addition, you get an exposure compensation slider. Both focus point and exposure can be adjusted during recording.

In the settings you can change the video resolution and deactivate video stabilization for shooting on a tripod.

Video sample 1: 1080p video in bright light

Color and exposure tend to be spot on in the Google Pixel XL bright light videos and the footage also shows excellent detail. When the camera is held still Google's electronic image stabilization works impressively well, with hardly any movement noticeable. However, the stabilization sometimes tends to be over-motivated, which can lead to a slight stuttering effect when the camera is panned. Overall the Pixel's video mode is delivering excellent quality in bright light, though.

Video sample 2: 1080p video in low light

In low light, such as in the sample below, the footage is noticeably softer and in the mixed-lighting of this indoor scene the camera produces a slightly greenish tint. In this video we can also witness the slight stuttering effect when panning but overall the Pixel is doing a decent job at capturing this difficult scene.

Video sample 3: 4K video

The Pixel XL's 1080p mode captures good detail but for those who need it the 4K setting offers plenty more. In terms of tonality and color there is no noticeable difference to Full-HD.

Video sample 4: slow-motion video

Slow-motion video can be edited in the Photos app.

In slow-motion mode the Pixel XL can record 720p footage at 240 fps or Full-HD resolution at 120 fps. The footage shows good detail and can be edited in the Photos app after shooting. A portion of the video can be marked to slow it down, the rest plays at normal speed. This works well but the transitions from normal to slow speed are a little too abrupt for our taste. Unfortunately, the only way to export an edited file to other devices is uploading it to Google Drive. If you transfer a file via USB-cable, the entire clip will play in slow motion.