It’s time. After the countless leaks, Google’s next-gen Android flagships are finally here. Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are now official — here’s everything you need to know.
First things first: the design of the Pixel 4 is slightly different from the Pixel 3 line, ditching the notch at the top of the device, and featuring a larger top bezel instead. Pixel 4 features a 5.7-inch Full HD+ display, while the XL features a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ display. Both the devices feature an OLED panel, with a new Smooth Display feature that allows the display to have refresh rates of up to 90Hz, making everything feel a lot smoother than before. The refresh rate adjusts automatically depending on what you are doing, saving battery life. The devices are both powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 processor, feature Google’s new Pixel Neural Core co-processor, 6GB of RAM, and up to 128GB of storage.
In terms of actual features, Google’s new Pixel 4 line includes Face Unlock for the first time ever. This is an actual, full-blown face unlock feature that uses a Dot Projector, IR Camera, and Flood Illuminator to scan your face, and lets you unlock the device with your face. It’s a lot like Face ID on the iPhone, but Google insists its implementation is different than any other in the market. In fact, Google says it will be able to unlock the phone in almost any orientation, which is something that didn’t exist on the original Face ID on the iPhone X.
And then there’s the new Motion Sense, which might be the Pixel 4’s most gimmicky feature. Motion Sense is powered by a miniature version of Google’s Soli sensor, placed at the top of the device, that allows users to interact with their Pixel to a certain level using gestures. You can simply wave over your phone to play the next/previous song, silence phone calls, etc.
Yes, that’s very gimmicky. But here’s where it gets cool: Google says the Motion Sense and Face Unlock feature work together to detect when you may want to unlock your phone, and automatically turns on the face unlock system beforehand so you can unlock the phone really fast — in fact, it offers the fastest phone unlock on any smartphone, according to Google. Pixel 4 also comes with deep Google Assistant integration, that can process certain tasks on-device. There’s even a new Recorder app that can transcribe what you are saying in real-time, and all of the voice recognition features are done on-device, locally.
So what about the cameras? This is Pixel we are talking about here, so yes, there’s a ton to talk about the cameras. Although Apple just added a third camera sensor to the back of iPhone 11 Pro, Google is just now adding a second camera to the Pixel 4. The device features a 12MP Dual-Pixel and a 16MP Telephoto camera and it includes some interesting new features. There is no ultrawide sensor, though.
Google is introducing Live HDR+ with the new Pixel 4 line, which means you can see how the HDR will look in real-time. There’s a dedicated new astrophotography mode that you can use to photograph the stars, and for when you are not trying to take pictures of the sky, you will be able to use Google’s new Motion Mode camera mode to take improved action shots. There’s also improvements to the Portrait mode with SLR-like bokeh effect. More importantly, there’s a new Dual Exposure controls feature that essentially lets you set two different exposure points in a shot and adjust the shadows and highlights separately, in real-time.
Pixel 4 comes with a 2800mAh battery, while the 4 XL features a 3700mAh battery. The devices will come in Just Black, Clearly White, and a limited edition Oh So Orange. Starts at $799, pre-orders today, available October 24. You will get 3 months of free Google One and 100GB of cloud storage with the purchase of a Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL.