Pixel 4 price, release date, specs, features and everything else we know
Google recently launched its latest mobile OS, Android 10 − and that means one thing: a new Android flagship is right around the corner. We’re expecting the Pixel 4 (and a larger Pixel 4 XL) to drop at some point in the next few weeks, and we have extremely high hopes for its camera.
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 outstanding cameras. Here’s everything we’ve heard so far about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, including potential pricing, release date, specs and the latest leaked images and videos.
The Google Pixel 4 at a glance
- The Pixel 4 will likely cost more than the Pixel 3 did at launch (£739), and the Pixel 4 XL will probably cost more than the Pixel 3 XL did at launch (£869)
- Both phones are expected to launch in mid-October
- The Pixel 4 will run Android 10 out of the box
- It will be the first-ever Pixel to feature more than one rear camera
- The Pixel 4 will drop the two-tone design made famous by previous generations
- You’ll be able to unlock it with your face
- You’ll be able to activate some features by waving your hands
Pixel 4 release date – When will it come out?
Tech tipster Evan Blass published the above image of an alleged Verizon marketing calendar that claims a mid to late-October launch is in order.
Google hasn’t yet sent out invitations for a launch event, but all of the previous flagship Pixels also launched in October:
- 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.
Hopefully Google doesn’t shaft UK-based customers in the same manner as Apple with its latest iPhone range. The iPhone 11 starts at £729 in the UK, and $699 in the US. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at £1049 in the UK, and $999 in the US.
Pixel 4 design and display — What will it look like?
Google shared an official image of the Pixel 4 (embedded above) way back in June. It reveals that the Pixel 4 will be the first-ever Pixel phone to feature more than one rear camera − and the square module looks similar to that of the new iPhone 11 range.
It also looks like Google has ditched the two-tone gloss-and-matte back panel that had made previous entries in the Pixel range immediately recognisable. At least one classic Pixel design touch will remain, however, in the highlighted power button.
We’ve seen loads of major Pixel leaks over the past few weeks. Rather than listing all of them on this page, let’s focus on the biggest discoveries.
Thai YouTube channel Rabbit TV published the video embedded above in mid-September, and though it isn’t subtitled, it gives us a clear look at the three rumoured colours: white, black and sunburst orange.
And that wasn’t the first we’d heard of an orange Pixel 4:
All three models appears to sport a black frame, which I really like the look of.
Though the Pixel 4’s bezels look chunkier than those of most of today’s flagship phones, this might be explained by the vast array of sensors necessary for Google’s new Soli technology − more on this in the final section.
Another leak has indicated that the Pixel 4’s screen will receive an impressive upgrade: an August report claimed that it will have a 90Hz refresh rate, like that of the OnePlus 7 Pro, and in contrast to the industry-standard of 60Hz.
This means the screen should look noticeably smoother and more responsive than that of almost every other handset on the market. This rumour has backed-up by some code in the Android 10 software, which also points towards the phones having a faster display than before.
Another video, this time from Vietnamese YouTube channel AnhEm TV, has revealed another screen featured called ‘Ambient EQ’, which sounds like it might be Google’s version to the iPhone’s True Tone, where colour temperature adjusts to the light levels.
It appears to come with an app called ‘Recorder’. It would make sense for this to let you record sounds from the microphone, but we wonder if it’ll also let you record directly from the screen. We’ll find out soon.
Pixel 4 camera – How good will its camera be?
We rated the Pixel 3’s camera as the best camera phone 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?
Considering the reputation of the Pixel’s camera, you may be surprised to hear that Google is the only mainstream flagship phone manufacturer to have not yet embraced multiple rear camera sensors. That’s set to change with the Pixel 4.
Multiple sensors will likely introduce some welcome versatility to the Pixel’s camera, raising our already sky-high expectations.
Related: What is a ToF camera?
There have been suggestions that the Pixel 4’s secondary camera will be a telephoto sensor, rather than a super wide-angle sensor, offering better zoom and depth for portrait mode.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Pixel 4 5G?
5G phones have now started trickling out, but reports have claimed that Apple has decided to wait until at least 2020 to released the first 5G iPhone.
We haven’t heard anything convincing either way about the Pixel 4 and 5G connectivity, but we’d be surprised if the new handset included support for next-gen mobile networks.