Google will not launch the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones in India. Not now, not anytime soon, not ever. Although Google isn’t giving out a definite reason, looks like the Soli radar chip inside its new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones is the problem. The problem is Google’s Soli radar uses the 60GHz mmWave frequency which isn’t permitted for commercial/civilian use in India – this is by law. This means that without proper authorization or license from the government, a commercially available product like the Pixel 4/Pixel 4 XL – smartphone or otherwise - can’t be sold in India.
“Google has a wide range of products that we make available in different regions around the world. We determine availability based on a variety of factors, including local trends, and product features. We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India. We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement given out to Republic World.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are the world’s first commercially available devices with Soli – Google’s in-house motion sensing tech that uses a miniaturized radar capable of sensing small motions around the device(s). The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, to that effect, pack a wide array of sensors at the top of the screen (which explains their thick foreheads) - including a new Soli chip that brings motion sense features to these phones, allowing you “to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand.”
That Soli chip, as mentioned, is in fact a miniaturized radar that operated in the 60GHz mmWave frequency – a frequency that’s currently authorized for use specifically for military or government projects.
One would assume, Google could have simply turned off the feature entirely, and sold the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones in India without its fancy motion sensing and face unlock tech. One of the key features of the Apple Watch Series 4, that is ECG, wasn’t available in India at launch (and for a very long time) because it needed regulatory authorization. There’s a difference between Soli tech inside the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones and the ECG feature inside the Apple Watch Series 4.
While it was okay for Apple to launch the Apple Watch Series 4 in India without ECG enabled, Google can’t launch a device like the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL here because of the law of the land – which is, you can’t sell a commercial product with tech based on the 60GHz mmWave frequency in India at all unless authorized by the Government. And because the Government of India doesn’t allow anyone but the military to access this frequency, Google can’t launch the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL in India.
Unless, it decides to re-engineer the product(s) solely for the Indian market, which is easier said than done.