So Google’s upcoming flagship series has got everyone hyped up, mostly for all the right reasons. Though we’ll see Google launch their 4th generation of Android flagships: Pixel 4 & Pixel 4 XL next month, we already have a lot of leaks, rumors, speculations, theories, and even some confirmed specs, which are more than enough to get us excited about the devices. This post rounds all of those details up, from the tiny ones to the big ones. Here’s everything we know about the Pixel 4 (and XL) so far.
UPDATE: 16TH SEPTEMBER 2019
It’s Official! Google has started sending media invites for a ‘Made By Google 2019’ event happening on the 15th of October in NYC. Also, a live stream is up already (a full month before the event) on YouTube. At this point, there have been so many leaks that we know almost exactly what the device is going to be like. Let’s see if anything from the event surprises us (the price, maybe?).
“Okay Google, set a reminder for October 15, 7:30 PM.”
Build & Design
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL, at this point, are no secret devices anymore. Google itself teased the design in June to accompany the leaks and rumors, a hands-on photo leaked very recently, and there still is a lot of stuff we don’t know about the phones.
From the looks of it, Google is supposedly going with the same glass-sandwich design just like the previous phones, but the rear glass now has a single-tone glossy glass instead of the part-glossy part-matte type. Also new is the big rounded-square camera housing that houses two cameras, an apparent laser-sensor for autofocus assistance and a color-adjusted flash. This camera housing is elevated significantly enough for the phone to rumble if kept on a flat surface.
Thanks to some leaked snaps of the front of the device, we now can be confirmed of the absence of the huge notch. The front of the phone now has a substantially wide top bezel with a narrower bottom bezel. Also, Google has carried forward the colored power button that stands out from the rest of the phone’s color. The volume rockers sit below the power button on the right of the device. The new phones are rumored to be ever so slightly thinner and taller than the previous ones. Build and design are supposed to be same on both the Pixel 4 and 4XL, the 4XL having a bigger display and battery.
Apart from these, Google is rumored to introduce some fresh colors for the new phones. We’re expecting some orange and purple-ish hues.
UPDATE: 17TH SEPTEMBER 2019: Google confirmed the new orange (coral) color for the new devices with a Times-Square ad (image attached above)
A video recently surfaced showing the Pixel 4 in hand. You can check that video here.
Starting from the display, the Pixel 4 is rumored to house 5.7-inch OLED 90Hz Full HD+ display while the larger Pixel 4 XL to house a larger 6.3-inch OLED 90Hz Quad HD+ panel. The biggest change and the most interesting part of the displays is the fluid 90Hz display, which Google is apparently calling ‘Smooth Display’.
On the internals, both the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL are said to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ SoC paired with 6 Gigs of RAM and up to 128 Gigs of UFS 3.0 internal storage. The bump-up to 6 Gigs of RAM shall help the phone with better background process and app handling, which the Pixel 3 series had issues with.
Coming to the cameras, the rear setup is said to consist of a 12MP and a 16MP sensor. This might seem less in number than the rest of the competition, but considering what the previous Pixel phones have achieved with single cameras, Google should be able to hit new benchmarks for the camera performance with two cameras. Apart from this, not much information is available on the rear cameras yet. The selfie camera is said to be a single 8MP f/1.8 wide-angle camera.
Coming to the battery, it seems like Google is still going with significantly smaller cells. The Pixel 4 is said to pack a 2,800 mAh cell while the 4 XL is said to have a 3,700 mAh cell. Though the 4 XL’s 3700 mAh cell sounds decent-enough, the capacity on the smaller device already has us doubting on the battery life.
For the software, the phones are believed to launch with Android 10 (Android Q) out of the box, with the new Android 10 features.
The Big Changes
So this dates back to 2015 when Google announced ‘Project Soli’, which is a special hardware-software system that lets users control devices with hand-gestures. After 4 years, it is official that Project Soli is making a debut in the Pixel 4 series. This shall make way for extensive gesture control and a super-advanced and sophisticated face unlock system, similar to Apple’s Face ID.
The new Soli chips, sensors and cameras are probably the reason why Google is going with a thicker top bezel. The top of the display in the new phones houses two IR cameras, a Dot Projector, a Flood Illuminator, the Soli Radar chip, Audio port, an Ambient Light and Proximity sensor, and the primary selfie camera.
Though we have had some apps and even some phones in the past that make use of hand-gestures with the phone’s selfie camera, the new ‘Soli’ system shall improve things infinitely, thanks to the sensors being actual radars, making the gesture detection both faster and more accurate. Google is calling his new gesture system ‘Motion Sense’ and according to Google, this Motion Sense shall get better with time and use. This single feature is perhaps the biggest change in the new Pixel devices.
Implementation of such a sophisticated face-unlock system could also mean Google getting rid of the fingerprint unlock completely, just like what Apple did a couple of years ago. While we are not sure if the Pixel 4 series would get rid of the fingerprint sensor altogether, we see big chances of that happening for sure. This could be good news, or bad news, depending on how you look at it.
The Pixel 4 phones are said to retain dual (stereo) speakers, wireless charging, IP68 certification, and Active Edge from the previous phones. However, the phones might miss out on 5G support. We have seen Google being a bit late to the party with new features, but considering 5G is still at its early-adopters phase, this should not be a deal-breaker for most people.
Also, looking at the cheaper Pixel 3a Google launched earlier this year, Google might also launch a Pixel 4a, but that device is expected to come early next year.
Launch & Pricing Of The Pixel 4
Considering Google launched previous Pixel phones in October, we shall expect the Pixel 4 series to drop in October itself, most probably on the 4th of October at Google’s 4th Made By Google event. This month is already gonna see quite a few devices like OnePlus 7T, OnePlus 7T Pro and Vivo Nex 3, so an October launch shall give the new devices ample media coverage and public attention as well.
For the pricing, we do not expect the phones to be cheap by any means. We can expect the Pixel 4 to start somewhere around $850 US, $50 more than last year’s Pixel 3. Owing to competition and cheaper alternatives, the Pixel 3 and 3XL have seen quite a few price drops and discounts, and though the Pixel 3 launched at $799 US, it’s now available for less than $500 online and offline. This might make Google replan their pricing strategy and keep those prices a bit more competitive, though we should also consider the new Soli tech that could potentially add up in production and R&D charges.
That’s all we know about the Pixel 4 and 4 XL so far. We’ll update this article as we have more details.