Successors to Pixel 3 and 3 XL, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL (codenamed Flame and Coral) should be with us in October. We already know what they look like, thanks to a genuine render supplied by Google itself, and we have a pretty good idea about some of the specs.
9to5Google quotes a reliable source who claims the upcoming phones will feature 5.7in Full-HD+ and 6.3in Quad-HD+ OLED displays, both with 90Hz refresh rates, which has previously been seen in the OnePlus 7 Pro and Razer Phone 2. Google is expected to call this 'Smooth Display'.
It also claims the primary camera assembly will combine a 12Mp lens with phase-detect autofocus and a 16Mp telephoto lens, making Pixel 4 the first Google phone to offer multiple lenses. Rumour has it there could also be a dual-lens selfie camera, and that a DSLR-like attachment may become available as an optional accessory.
Google has also confirmed two new features coming to its latest flagships: Motion Sense and Face Unlock. The former uses Soli, a motion-sensing technology, to recognise gestures when you're nearby. You'll be able to skip songs, snooze, alarms and silence phone calls with a wave of the hand, according to the company. Soli also helps Face Unlock work much faster by switching on the sensor as you reach for the phone.
Rocking the same square camera module as seen in earlier renders, Google's render reveals that the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor has disappeared, suggesting it will jump on the in-display fingerprint sensor trend.
Shortly after Google itself tweeted the Pixel 4, there were rumours of black, white and mint green models.
A slightly older concept comes from Concept Creator, and is shown in the video below. Though it's purely a concept, the imagined design sees Google really push the boundaries of the all-screen display, with a dual-lens selfie camera and dual speakers built directly into the screen - and no notch in sight. Both models are certainly tipped to come with stereo speakers.
Of course, the Pixel 3 and 3 XL had little in common in design, so it remains to be seen whether the Pixel 4 XL will follow a similar overall look to the Pixel 4. In previous years the difference in design has been due to the fact Google has used different hardware partners to create the phones (for instance HTC designed the Pixel 2 and LG the Pixel 2 XL), but in 2018 both Pixel 3 and XL were designed by Google and built by Foxconn.
Pixel 4 won't be the first new Google phone we've seen this year. In May Google unveiled its Pixel 3a and 3a XL at Google I/O, and they gave us a glimpse at some of the new features heading our way on those new Google phones.
Not only will be get a faster next-generation Google Assistant that can handle more complex tasks across apps, but we'll also get Android 10 Q out of the box. The new OS focuses on innovation, privacy and security, and digital wellbeing.
These being Google phones, and flagships at that, we can already almost guarantee two things we'll see in the Pixel 4 and 4 XL: first, Android 10.0 Q, for which the public beta is available now and should be followed by the final release in August 2019; and second, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (or more recent 855 Plus) chip, successor to the Snapdragon 845 seen in the current generation of Pixels.
With this processor integrating support for 5G networks, it's possible we could see the first 5G-enabled Google phone in the Pixel 4, though adding the tech has implications on both price and design. We suspect this may be a feature reserved for the XL model, though in 2018 the spec of the two was much closer than we've seen previously.
It seems to early to be true, but a device that could be the Pixel 4 has already popped up at Geekbench as the 'Google Coral', indeed running Android Q and the Snapdragon 855. It is also revealed to have 6GB of RAM, whereas its predecessors had only 4GB of memory. With this combination the prototype records 3296 points single-core and 9235 multi-core.
Recently, however, there is talk of Google looking to produce its own smartphone chips, following suit from Apple, Samsung and Huawei. Reuters reports that it has hired 16 engineering veterans and four talent recruiters for its internal gChips team, and with a further four vacancies on the team it could grow to 80-strong by the end of the year.
We'd also like to see Google expand the available storage options, with many phones now available in 256- or even 512GB capacities, or to add a microSD slot.
It's expected that the smaller Pixel 4 will include a 2,800mAh battery, and the Pixel 4 XL a 3,800mAh cell.
The new Pixel phones are also expected to bring in proper dual-SIM support, according to XDA, which will be an improvement over the current setup where you can technically have two SIMs using e-SIM, but cannot use both at once.
When is the Pixel 4 coming out?
Expect an October 2019 launch for the Pixel 4, with all previous Google phones announced during its annual hardware event at this time.
How much will the Pixel 4 cost?
Pricing really depends on whether or not Google goes down the 5G route. If it doesn't, given that it's going to take some time for 5G to become widespread in the UK, we should be looking at a similar price to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL, which retail at £739 and £869 respectively for the base models (buy here). But if it does, those prices could creep a lot closer to £900 or £1000.
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