We know the Google Pixel 4 (and likely a larger Pixel 4 XL sibling) is coming. This is because Google has already confirmed it is making the device, with revealing some Pixel 4 camera details and more. Here’s everything we know so far about what could end up being the top camera phone on the market.
Here are all the details we’ve heard so far about the upcoming Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, including potential pricing, release date, specs and the latest leaked images.
Google Pixel 4 at a glance
Google’s current flagship phones are the Google Pixel 3 and Google Pixel 3 XL, both of which impressed us with their neat design, great software, and — above all — their simply excellent cameras. However since these phones hit shelves they’ve been quickly improved on by the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10.
The Google Pixel 3a and Google Pixel 3a XL then joined the Pixel line as cheaper alternatives.
Considering the reputation of the camera it’s perhaps surprising that the Pixel 3 is one of the few mainstream flagship phones that has just one rear sensor. But that’s officially not the case with the Pixel 4: the image above, shared by the Made By Google Twitter account back in June, shows off the brand new multi-camera module. This is likely to introduce some welcome versatility to the Pixel’s camera, raising our already sky-high expectations for its performance.
Image credit: @evleaks/Twitter
Pixel 4 Release Date – When will it come out?
Evan Blass, the noted technology tipster, released the above image of a Verizon marketing calendar that reveals a mid to late-October launch is likely for the Pixel 4. This fits with our expectations, since all of the previous mainline Pixel phones also made their appearances that month:
- Pixel: October 2016
- Pixel 2: October 2017
- Pixel 3: October 2018
Pixel 4 Price − How much will it cost?
At launch, the Pixel 3 had an RRP of £739 and the Pixel 3 XL had an RRP of £869 – however, we expect the Pixel 4’s price to rise even closer to the £1000 mark.
If those prices are a bit too steep for you, then Google’s mid-range series might suit you better. Released in May, the Pixel 3a (£399) and Pixel 3a XL (£469) offer the same camera hardware as the Pixel 3 but at a much lower price point due to a less powerful (Snapdragon 670) processor and a plastic, rather than glass, construction.
Pixel 4 Design and Display — What will it look like?
Google has already shared an official image of the Pixel 4, embedded earlier in this article. Most importantly, it revealed that the Pixel 4 will be the first-ever Pixel to feature more than one rear camera − and the square module appears very similar to the leaked renders we’ve seen of the upcoming iPhone 11.
In late August that official render seemed to come to life for the first time in an image shared via Telegram. The front of the device was shown in far more detail, along with a closer look at the rear camera. The bezels are certainly chunkier than most of today’s flagship phones, but this might be explained by the vast array of sensors necessary for Google’s new Soli technology — read on for more details.
Image Credit: XDA Developers
Some fans will undoubtedly be disappointed to see that Google is preparing to ditch the iconic two-tone gloss and matte back panel that had become an iconic element of the Pixel range, but the distinctive different-coloured power button means that at least one classic Pixel touch will remain.
We could also be seeing a new colour option introduced with the Pixel 4: orange. By the looks of the leaked picture below, the orange hue would be a stark contrast to the muted colours we’ve seen on previous pixels. We’d also expect the phone to come in black and white.
Another leak indicates that the Pixel 4’s screen will receive an impressive upgrade: a report claims that it will have a 90Hz refresh rate, like that of the OnePlus 7 Pro, in contrast to the industry-standard of 60Hz. This means the screen should look noticeably smoother and more responsive than almost every other handset on the market. This rumour was backed-up by some code in the Android 10 software, which also pointed towards the phones having a faster display than before.
Image Credit: 9to5Google
Pixel 4 Camera – How good will its camera be?
We rated the Pixel 3’s camera as the best smartphone snapper money could buy, a title it held until the launch of the Huawei P30 Pro. Can the next Pixel win back the coveted title for Google?
Related: What is a ToF camera?
There have been suggestions that the secondary camera will be a telephoto sensor, rather than a super wide-angle sensor, offering better zoom and depth for portrait mode similarly to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
Google’s next Pixel phone could benefit from another key upgrade to its camera that involves expanding the range of colours the camera is able to capture. According to XDA Developers, a couple of signs have emerged that point at future Pixel phones having an expanded P3 colour gamut, which can capture a range of colour 25% larger than standard sRGB. In May, Google announced that wide colour gamut support was on the way but didn’t give any clear release date. It seems likely the upgrade will come to the Pixel 4, effectively confirmed by a June discovery from within the Google Camera app, which allows for the use of the wider P3 colour gamut.
A recent leaked video, which looks very much like a promo for the upcoming phone, shows that Google may be introducing a mode in the camera that’ll be able to capture snaps of stars to the Pixel 4. The below video also gives a little more information about the design.
Finally, what’s really set the Pixel apart from the competition has been its cutting-edge image processing, and we can’t wait to see the improvements Google has in store for this year’s flagship.
Related: Best camera phones
Pixel 4 Features and software – What else will it do?
Based on the pattern set by previous models, we expect the next Pixel to come loaded with the latest flagship Qualcomm chipset: the Snapdragon 855. There’s a slight chance it could pack the slightly newer – but overwhelmingly gaming-focused – Snapdragon 855 Plus.
Unfortunately for buyers though, this release schedule means that Pixels always ship with the latest Qualcomm processor right at the end of its lifecycle (in this case, we’re expecting the Snapdragon 865 to be released shortly afterwards).
A leak from early August has claimed that the Pixel 4 XL will have a respectable 3700mAh battery, and the standard model will feature a 5.7-inch screen and a modest (even disappointing) 2800mAh battery.
In a blog post that went up in late July, Google confirmed the array of sensors that will be housed in the phone’s top bezel. From left to right, there’s a face unlock IR camera, a front facing camera, an ambient light/proximity sensor, an audio port, a soli radar chip, a face unlock dot projector, another face unlock IR camera and a face unlock flood illuminator.
As far as face unlock is concerned, Google is promising the activation will be a little faster than solutions like Apple’s Face ID tech, writing: “Other phones require you to lift the device all the way up, pose in a certain way, wait for it to unlock, and then swipe to get to the homescreen. Pixel 4 does all of that in a much more streamlined way.
“As you reach for Pixel 4, Soli proactively turns on the face unlock sensors, recognizing that you may want to unlock your phone. If the face unlock sensors and algorithms recognize you, the phone will open as you pick it up, all in one motion.” The company claims the data won’t leave your phone and won’t be shared with other Google services.
As for the Motion Sense technology, which comes via the Project Soli technology, Google is including a sensor that can track “sub millimetre motions at high speed and accuracy.”
The blog post continues: “Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand. These capabilities are just the start, and just as Pixels get better over time, Motion Sense will evolve as well.” The only downside to all of these new sensors is that there’s no longer room for a secondary wide-angle selfie cam.
Related: How to install Android 10 right now
The Pixel 4 will come running Android 10, which has just been released to older Pixel devices. One new tweak that might be exclusive to the new phones is an Assistant mode that’ll take control when you’re stuck on hold during a phone call.
Max is one the longest-serving members of the Trusted Reviews team. He was features editor but his expertise on mobile phones and tablets meant he transitioned to the role of mobile, wearables and tab…
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