Today Google formally announced the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL at its hardware event in New York City. The new flagship smartphones are exactly the same as we were expected from the countless leaks that we got over the past weeks.
Google apparently did a good job with the display of the new Pixels this year. DisplayMate has awarded Google an A+ rating and a Best Smartphone Display Award. We’ll take that with a grain of salt until people start using it in real life. The Pixel 4 comes with a 5.7-inch OLED display and the Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3-inch Quad HD display. Both support HDR and have a 19:9 aspect ratio.
Both displays feature a 90Hz max refresh rate feature for smoother and faster scrolling and responsiveness. Under certain conditions, the display will fall back to the traditional 60Hz max refresh rate for better battery life.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor paired with 6GB of RAM. Both phones come with 64GB or 128GB of storage. It will cost you $100 more to upgrade either version. Google has finally jumped on the dual-camera train. Both the Pixel 4 and 4 XL have a 16MP telephoto for 2x optical zoom alongside the standard 12MP main camera.
Surprisingly, the batteries on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL have a smaller capacity than the ones on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL. The Pixel 4 has a 2,800 mAh battery compared to the 3,700mAh on the Pixel 4 XL. They are wireless charging compatible and both offer 18W fast charging support.
Google was already a leader in terms of photography with its Pixel phones and once again they’ve stepped up their game with significant upgrades in the camera. They offer machine learning-based white balancing as well as a new Live HDR+ feature, which lets users preview the optimized final result in the camera app before they take the photo. Additionally, a better Night Sight mode now allows you to take awe-inspiring photos of the skies using computational photography.
The ugly notch is gone this time, but there’s a top bezel that houses a mix of sensors, infrared and radar. The most notable sensor is, of course, Google’s Soli radar sensor, which brings two new features to the Pixel: Face unlock and Motion Sense.
The Face unlock is Google’s answer to Apple’s Face ID. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL, according to Google, have the fastest face unlock system on any smartphone. Face unlock basically works the same as Face ID except you don’t have to swipe to unlock the phone after it detects your face. If you want to see your locked screen you can actually do that in the Settings app.
You can use it to secure apps and authorizing purchases and will also work in almost any orientation. You should note that there’s no rear or in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s just Face unlock. Google is betting big on its new face unlock.
The Soli-powered air gesture feature, Motion Sense feature, allows you to control the phone with hand gestures. You can skip music tracks, dismiss phone calls, silencing alarms by only waving your hand over the phone’s display. Google is also aware of potential privacy concerns, so everything happens on the phone. Nothing gets transmitted elsewhere, and you will also be able to disable the feature at any time.
Both devices will feature the next-generation version of Google Assistant announced at Google I/O earlier this year. They also come with a Record app that can transcribe your voice recordings in real-time. The new Pixel phones will ship with Android 10, and Google will offer three years of major OS updates and three years of monthly security updates.
Google’s new flagships come in three new colors: Just Black, Clearly White and the new/limited-edition Oh So Orange. As for pricing and availability, the Pixel 4 starts at $799 (£669) and the Pixel 4 XL starts at $899 (£829).
Preorders are now live, and they’ll start shipping on all major U.S. networks starting on October 24th, including Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, and Google Fi.