After twisting the lens to turn Clips on, a 12-megapixel sensor with a 130-degree field of view does handles all the imaging. interestingly, I'm told it's optimized to play to our perceptions -- Google has worked to optimize the quality of the resulting visuals, because it only captures shorts bursts of video, and not all of them will be recorded at the same resolution. Even so, the images I saw captured live on a Googler's phone were more impressive than I would've thought. They're definitely not as good as the photos you'd get out of a Pixel 2, but more than good enough for blasting around your social networks.
Those clips move around with decent speed too, since the camera maintains a connection to your phone via Wi-Fi Direct. Being in a slammed demo area with lots of interference definitely isn't ideal for connection quality, but -- after a few hiccups -- the tiny videos started showing up on the connected device pretty quickly. As such, I don't foresee too many issues when toting Clips around and trying to nab photos of loved ones on the fly.
So yes, on a technical level, Clips easily impresses. It's not just a camera, it's a live-in photographer (and a clever one, too). Those concerned with privacy can rest a little easier knowing none of the media Clips records will end up in the cloud somewhere unless you specifically want it to. Given that the camera is geared toward parents and pet owners, having this kind of structural silo is hugely important. What's less clear is whether this thing actually has a future -- it still very much feels like an experiment that's just helpful enough that Google decided to kick it onto the market. Only time -- and maybe a review unit -- will tell.
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