Google will launch the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones on October 15 in New York City. The invite and the YouTube livestream (that’s already live with the countdown to D-day) tease “a few new things made by Google” and while the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are all but certain to make an appearance, there could be more hardware announcements – possibly an updated second-generation Pixelbook laptop and new smart speakers to name a few.
The Pixel will of course be the showstopper. Google sort of went off the script this year, confirming the Pixel 4 early (in June) possibly to outsmart the wave of leaks that the Pixel has now grown accustomed to. For the last couple of years, leaks have taken the better of the Pixel – leaving its official launch all but a formality for Google. Not this year though, at least that’s what Google would like to believe – although a string of information shared by Google hasn’t stopped the barrage of leaks that have followed since.
Coming to the things that have been officially confirmed by Google, we already know that the Pixel 4 (and Pixel 4 XL) will come with dual rear cameras – a first for any Google Pixel phone. Google has been able to pull off some too good to be true photography chops with one camera on its Pixel phones for years now, at a time when rival brands have started adopting more and more versatility – meaning more cameras. Also, rival brands have been raising the megapixel bar as well, while Google has been content using 12MP resolution cameras. So far.
While dual cameras are surely a big step-up, it would be interesting to see if Google also chooses to up the megapixel count in its cameras this year. It would also be interesting to see what kind of lenses it has to offer in the Pixel 4 – normal and wide-angle, normal and depth, or normal and telephoto. Rumor has it, that Google will be opting for a standard wide and a telephoto combo – with 8x zoom (hybrid) and the ability to shoot photos of the night sky.
Moving on, the Pixel 4 will be able to recognize hand gestures and detect when the user is nearby. Google has confirmed that the Pixel 4 will be the first commercially available device with Soli – its in-house motion sensing tech that uses a miniaturized radar capable of sensing small motions around the device. Soli will also bring advanced face unlock to the Pixel 4 (with a combination of dedicated face unlock hardware including a pair of IR cameras and flood illuminator). Google in fact says that the Pixel 4 will be able to offer a face unlock experience that’s easier, faster, and more secure than rivals, such as the iPhone’s Face ID – which has become the gold standard to beat in the industry.
The Pixel 4, as far as early spec reveals go, seems different compared to past Pixel phones, at least as far as new hardware is concerned. Whether all that will be enough to make the Pixel 4 more than just a camera champion in 2019, is something only time will tell.