Unlike in past years, Google has been completely upfront about the impending launch of its new smartphones. Next week, the company will unveil a raft of new hardware, including the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. These phones will introduce new interface paradigms, screen technology, and more. Here’s everything we know about Google’s new phones.
Design and Hardware
Google tweeted the first official images of the Pixel 4 over the summer, confirming the early leaks were accurate. That first image only showed the back of the phone, which features a large, square camera module that looks a bit like the newest iPhone. There are two camera sensors, a first for Google’s Pixel phones.
Google has always focused on camera performance in Pixel phones. Even with just one camera, the Pixel phones have produced the best photos of any phone. So the addition of a second camera is exciting. Google hasn’t offered specifics on the cameras, but leaks point to a 12MP main sensor and a 16MP telephoto. There might also be a 3D time-of-flight sensor on the back, but that’s pure speculation based on the leaked images.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will be very similar-looking devices, which has not been the case since the first-gen Pixels. Both phones will have narrow side and bottom bezels, but the top bezel (or forehead) will be much larger to accommodate various sensors. There’s still no headphone jack on the phones.
The regular Pixel 4 will have a 5.7-inch 1080p OLED, and the 4 XL will have 6.3-inches at 1440p. Google will also implement a 90Hz refresh rate on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, which it calls “Smooth Display.” On the inside, we expect a Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, and 64-128GB of storage. There might be a 5G version down the road, but the initial launch will be LTE-only.
One of the sensors in the large top bezel is a Soli Radar sensor. Yes, that gesture control technology that Google showed off at I/O years ago. It’s finally coming to a product, but don’t expect miracles out of the box. Soli on the Pixel 4 will be able to detect swipes to, for example, skip music tracks or snooze alarms. Google calls this “Motion Sense.” Soli will get more capable over time, according to Google.
Have you noticed something missing from the leaked images of the new Pixels? Yep, there’s no fingerprint sensor in sight. It’s possible there’s one under the display, but leaks have suggested Google is going all-in with face unlock.
The top bezel includes an infrared dot projector, IR flood illuminator, and two IR cameras for face unlock. Android 10 supports face unlock as a secure authentication method with the right hardware. So, this won’t be a selfie camera implementation like you see on so many other phones.
Google also notes the Soli radar chip will help speed up face unlock. It will detect when you reach for the phone, triggering the face unlock sensors to wake up and start scanning before you even raise the phone.
Release and Pricing
Google will unveil the Pixel 4 and 4 XL on October 14th, and if it works like past years, pre-orders will go live shortly thereafter. Supplies are usually limited at launch, so ordering early will be the only way to guarantee getting your Pixel in October. We expect shipping to start about a week after the announcement.
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will come in white, black, and orange. Pricing leaks have pointed to a similar setup as last year. The smaller Pixel will be around $900 and the XL will be about $1,000.
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