Google has typically kept things pretty simple with its smartphone range. But with the market clearly wanting larger and smaller display options, many smartphone makers are now creating a three-model strategy with small, medium and plus-size displays. Google appears to be following suit with the Pixel 4, according to rumours and leaks. Here's what we can expect from the Google Pixel 4.
#1 The Pixel 4 will ship with Android Q (and it's going to pack a punch)
Android is now a very mature mobile operating system and has, in many ways, overtaken iOS to become not only the highest-selling mobile OS but also the strongest when it comes to features.
Android Q will make some significant improvements to security as well - not just through giving users better access to controls but also under the covers.
According to leaked benchmarks, it will be powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor and have up to 6GB of RAM, depending on the model you plump for.
Pixel 4 XL First Look
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— Ash Trailor (@ashraf2428) June 9, 2019
#2 There will be three Pixel 4 devices
Google will release three different Pixel 4 model variants.
- Pixel 4
- Pixel 4 XL
- Pixel 4a
This is fast becoming the convention for flagship phones, with a standard model complimented by a larger, beefier version and a lower-specced alternative for people who want to save a few bucks. Whether these will be sold simultaneously is unknown, but don't be surprised if the 4a to make its appearance a few months after launch. (As happened with the Pixel 3a.)
#3 The Pixel 4 will have better camera hardware
When Huawei released the P30 pro, it changed the market's expectation of what mobile photography can be. I'm not sure Google will be trying to overtake the Chinese smartphone giant on that score but it will definitely make improvements to the current set up.
Here's what we can probably expect from the new phones:
- Pixel 4: single front camera, dual rear camera
- Pixel 4 XL: single front camera, three rear cameras
- Pixel 4a: single front camera, single rear camera
Camera performance will be improved on the Pixel 3 which is still one of the best camera phones on the market. Google appears to be making overdue changes to its Pixel camera hardware. When combined with its world-class imaging software, this should result in one of the best snappers on the market.
An official image Google shared last month revealed some intriguing sensor-like holes near the camera lens. As Gizmodo notes, one of these sensors could have something to do with the radar-based Project Soli, which allows users to control their phone by making gestures in the air.
In the lead-up to a new Pixel smartphone, it's customary for leaked photos and fanciful renders to clog the interwebs. For the Pixel 4, Google has decided to drop a truth bomb directly on the rumour mill.
Behold the Pixel 4 in all its glory. It's big, it's black and it's rocking a very different camera.
#4 How big are the Pixel 4 phones?
Google understands that we don't all want phablets. While some handset makers seem focused on making phones that can be as large as possible, there's clearly a market for smaller handsets that actually fit in your hand.
We can expect the Pixel 4 XL to retain the 6.3-inch display, possible adding some more space bumping that up to more like 6.5-inches. The Pixel 4 will come in at around 5.5-inches with the smaller Pixel 4a sitting at closer to 5-inches.
There's no doubt Google has seen the niche Apple carved out with the iPhone SE which remains in demand.
#5 Bye-bye notch - hello hole
Google will squeeze some extra real-estate from their displays without increasing the overall device size by ditching notches and bezels, and adopting the same punch-hole camera arrangement we saw Samsung pioneer with the Galaxy S10 range.
I still see the hole as a compromise until under-display cameras become viable in the mainstream but I expect they'll be part of the smartphone landscape for another year or so.