The first 4K videos from Google Pixel XL that were published online was filmed by YouTube user Ron8it. He recorded these videos both in daylight and low-light and in my opinion, the video quality is just out of this world for a mobile device. It's not the sharpness what triggered a positive reaction (what we usually do when analyzing video image quality), but what Ron8it mentioned in the video description about the film-like look and the alluring color palette.
When I first watched the video, I thought that it went through some sort of processing. The colors look different than the other video I've seen from other smartphones. I can't recall a video that looks liked it color wise. I thought that maybe it's juts me until I've read the description and found out that Ron8it also paid attention to the unique color palette. The color palette makes the video look like a film, which gives a more cinematic look to the video. For me, it just brought some nostalgic memories from the film days and I really enjoyed watching the video.
These colors trigger different emotions and in my opinion, are more pleasing to the eyes then the striking highly saturation ones. They are more subtle, more pastelic in a sense, but it really compliments landscape shots, that for sure. It looks like the footage was given a slight of a magenta color boost to it. The videos just felt warmer and more inviting and well balanced in terms of contrast, some might say that it lacks a bit of contrast, but I really liked it that way - it stresses my eyes less.
There is no better way to demonstrate the video recording potential of the Google Pixel camera than shooting in nature because you can observe how natural blue, green, red and yellow are reproduced by the sensor and image processing pipeline. The exposure might not reflect real life results for every scene because the photographer used a Neutral Density (ND) filter probably when shooting long exposure scenes but this should have any effect on the hue of the color rendition. The whole 4K video taken with the Google Pixel XL looked like a film and I really liked this effect.