Launching on Oct. 15, Google’s next flagship phones, theÂ, are crucial for the company. This is especially true given that rivals like Apple launched its , Â with boosted camera features like Night mode, and Samsung is on its way with the with the , in addition to itsÂ andÂ Â phones. In short, it’s time for Google to step up. True, Google’s most recent phones, the midrange and , are doing well. and the , and CNET editor Daniel Van Boom called it the .
But last year’s, despite their exceptional cameras and critical acclaim. This could be because the phones areÂ Â (though they work on other US carriers), plus the fact that people in generalÂ Â as much as they used to. The and phones are also expensive, unlike the Pixel 3A phones. There have beenÂ Â too (although we at CNET haven’t experienced them personally), and the company just settledÂ Â that will apiece to owners of theÂ .
Also, here’sto compete with Apple and Samsung this year.Â
More than ever, however, we have a better understanding of what Google’s next flagship phones will be capable of. On Aug. 7, the company released theÂ releasing a video on YouTube
about the phone’s .
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will serve as Google’s ultimate take on its mobile OS, which is also theÂ Apple iPhoneÂ but other Android rivals, such as those fromÂ Samsung. Right now we are about a month away from its release, so in the meantime, read on to see what has been speculated so far and check back as we update this piece with interesting rumors as they arise. Â, and the phones must stand out, not only from theÂ
Confirmed: The Pixel 4 exists, has square camera setup
As mentioned above, the Pixel 4 is a real phone — none other than Google announced that it’s coming. Not only did the company confirm the name, but it included an image, which depicts multiple rear cameras encased in a square housing.
There was another, less official instance when Google confirmed the existence of the phone in April, when a Google employee commented on Google’s Android Open Source Project. Buried in a thread about Google’s memory error detection tool, and spotted first by 9to5Google, the comment refers to the Pixel 4 twice:
In the comment, the poster writes, “The plan was to first deploy this on Pixel 3 and make sure that everything actually works. Then move on to Pixel 4 and so on. If I had a Pixel 4 device…” Though the thread doesn’t go on to reveal anything else about the phone, at least we learned that it’s called the Pixel 4 and that it’s on its way.
Confirmed: We’ll see it Oct. 15
On Sept. 16, Google sent out invites to its smart homeÂ endeavors) in October.. This confirms what we already expected given that ever since theÂ Â launched in 2016, Google has released its flagship phones in October. The pattern usually goes like this: Google holds itsÂ Â in May to go over the latest Android OS and software updates. Then in October it has another presser that highlights Google’s hardware developments and introduces a new flagship running the Android version previewed in May. There have been curveballs — for instance, this year Google unveiled the Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL in May. But it looks like this time around we’ll see the Pixel 4 (and likely anyÂ
Confirmed: It will have face unlock and motion sensors
Face unlock and blog post showing that the Pixel 4 will have a Soli radar chip. This will allow the , which is similar to , and the feature will be secure enough to verify digital payments. The chip can also sense motion, and lets you “skip songs, snooze alarms and silence phone calls” by waving your hand in front of the phone. The technology was developed internally by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team.and confirmed by Google on July 29. The company released a video and
The feature is not unlike theand offers a glimpse into aÂ . The FCC first granted Google approval to use Project Soli sensors in December 2018 for aircraft.
Confirmed: Pixel 4 in orange
Google confirmed that either theÂ WeiboÂ that showed aÂ . Besides black and white, previous Pixel colors include blue, purple and pink. While I’m not a fan of this particular shade of orange, it definitely stands out from the crowd., thanks to a huge billboard in Times Square. The advertisement, which is meant to drum up hype for the Oct. 15 event, shows the phone in its new color. This verifies a previous unofficial image posted on Chinese social networkÂ
Confirmed: Pixel 4 ‘coming soon’ to Best Buy
Even though the phone hasn’t officially launched yet, sellers are getting ahead of the game. US retailer Best Buy has its own splash page for the Pixel 4, saying that it’s “coming soon,” and posting an image of the phone’s back. Though it’s not a photo, the image shows Google doing away with the two-tone glass shade. The back of the phone is now one single solid color. A spotted by Slashleaks and 9to5Google also shows the back of the phone as a solid slab of black.
Likely: Pixel 4 has one front-facing camera
Back in June, supposedly aÂ 9to5Google showing that the phone had two front cameras (like the current Pixel 3) and a large “forehead.” But Google’s sketch of the Pixel 4, which was used to show where the Soli radar chip was located on the phone’s front-facing array, also showed that the phone had a single front-facing camera.Âby a tipster for
We’re unsure why Google would drop the second wide-angle camera from the phone, as it was useful on the Pixel 3 for taking wide selfie shots. Seeing how Google can render portrait photos with just one lens, perhaps the Pixel 4 will be capable of taking standard and wide-angle shots using just software. Google declined a request for comment.
Likely: Pixel 4 will run Android 10
As with past Pixel phones, the Pixel 4 line will be one of the first phones to run Android’s latest OS. We know it won’t be the first though, considering that the Android Q. We know now that its official name is and it will reportedly have aÂ , new permissions features, improvedÂ Â andÂ enhanced security.is available now and serves up Android 10 out of the box. Up until this year, Google OS names were alphabetical, and the upcoming update was temporarily known asÂ
Rumor: It may be able to call for help in a crash
The new Pixel 4 may be able to use the phone’s accelerometer and microphone to sense XDA Developers. The feature would be available in the Pixel 4’s Emergency Information app and can call 911 automatically, too. After it detects a crash, the phone would play an alert at max volume and vibrate. If you don’t mute the phone, the app will then contact emergency services and make your location accessible., according to
Rumor: Pixel 4 may launch on Sprint
For the past few years, the Pixel phone has launched with US carrier Verizon, even though it worked on other networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile. But a leaked photo of the Pixel 4 posted by XDA Developers shows the phone . Though Sprint is the country’s fourth largest carrier, it is due to soon. Being sold by more carriers instead of just one would also , which may have previously hurt sales.
Rumor: Pixel 4 may have a 90Hz display
Perhaps joining the ranks of theÂ 9to5Google. That means that while most phones have a refresh rate of 60 frames per second (put in another way, in 1 second the display refreshes 60 times), the Pixel 4 would refresh at 90fps.ÂÂ and theÂ , the Pixel 4 may be Â according toÂ
From our time reviewing phones with 90Hz displays, we can attest that actions like scrolling through webpages and apps do feel more fluid, and it’d be an exciting feature to have on the Pixel 4.
Rumor: Pixel 4 XL may have thick bezels
Anshows the phone looking pretty similar to the Pixel 3 XL. It has a large display and thick bezels at the top and bottom, and it shows a homescreen that says, “Welcome to your new Pixel.”Â
Rumor: Pixel 4 XL is a good gaming phone?
A purported, running nearly 6 minutes long, shows the phone performing as a decent gaming phone. Posted by a Vietnamese tech blog called ReLab, the video shows the phone with a white design, matte-black edges and an orange power button. In addition to the aforementioned 90Hz display, other specs include a 6.23-inch, a 1,440p screen and a 3,700-mAh battery.
Rumor: Pixel 4 XL could also have two back cameras
While previous Pixel XLs launched with just a single camera on the back,Â leaked photos posted on (once again) SlashLeaksÂ indicate that the . Google has typically relied on its Â to do things like taking portrait photos that other phones require multiple rear cameras to accomplish, so it’s interesting that Google may possibly add another. The same leaked photos also show the phone with the aforementioned hole-punch display.
Rumor: Pixel 4 might have improved dual-SIM capabilities
The Pixel 4 may have a feature that would allow a user toÂ. This is an update from the previousÂ and Pixel 3 (and their larger counterparts theÂ and 3 XL). Those phones have a standard SIM card slot and an eSIM. While you could have two numbers provisioned for the device, you could only talk, text or use data on one line, while the other remained inactive. In other words, only one SIM could be activated at a time.
But the Pixel 4 would be able to have two active SIMs. If either is being used to make a call or text, however, the other line won’t be able to take calls or text for the time being. This is similar to howÂ phones operate.and other AndroidÂ
Originally published March 8.
Updates, May 26: Adds info about Pixel class-action lawsuit;Â June 6: Adds Google employee confirmation and Skinomi renders;Â June 12: Adds Google first-look info;Â June 26: Adds additional rumors, including Project Soli;Â July 30: Adds Soli radar chip and single front-facing camera confirmation;Â Aug. 11: Adds 90Hz display rumor; Sept. 2: Adds Sprint carrier rumor; Sept. 13: Adds Best Buy confirmation and other rumors; Sept. 18: Adds official launch date and confirmed orange color; Oct. 1: Adds crash assistance rumor.