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    15 October launch date leaks


    THERE’S JUST OVER A MONTH to go until the launch of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, and there’s already not much we don’t know about the Android 10 flagships.

    Google itself has confirmed the handsets’ square-shaped camera arrays and motion-sensing Soli tech, and a number of online leaks and murmurs have revealed almost everything else; expect a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC under the hood paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB storage, a 90Hz refresh rate display and bigger batteries than last year’s Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

    We’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the so-called Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL below. 

    Release date
    It looks like the Pixel 4 will make its official debut on 15 October. Serial leaker Evan Blass has since an image of the device showing 15 October as the date on the screen.

    While unconfirmed, such a launch date would be hardly surprising; last year’s Pixel 3 lineup launched on 4 October, and the Pixel 2 and 2 XL were announced on 19 October.  

    Price
    If anything like last year’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, expect this year’s Google flagships to fetch around £739 and £869, respectively.

    Latest news
    10/9/19: 
    A leaked Google Pixel 4 promo video has spilled the beans on the handset’s gesture controls, astrophotography mode and Night Sight camera improvements. The video, obtained by Spanish site ProAndroid and shared by 9to5Google, shows off Google’s Soli Motion Sense feature in action, with a user controlling the handset by waving their hand in front of the display. It also confirms, as expected, that Google’s Night Sight mode will see an upgrade, with a new mode designed for capturing with the Milky Way in the background. 

    9/9/19: A duo of fresh Pixel 4 leaks, via 9to5Google and XDA Developers, claim the Pixel 4’s camera will boast an 8x zoom, an improved Night Sight feature, and an all-new “Motion Mode” for shooting action shots. The latter, 9to5Google reports, will allow the dual-cam setup to shoot fast-paced shots with “moving subjects in the foreground and blurry backgrounds,” similar to what you’d get using a high-end DSLR camera. 

    In a separate report, 9to5Google claims that Google Assistant on Pixel 4 will be able to handle calls for you while you’re on hold. Simply tell the digital helper than you’re on hold, and it’ll notify you when there’s an actual human back on the other end of the call.

    28/8/19: Two in-the-wild images of Google’s next-gen flagship have been uncovered on Telegram by the folks at XDA Developers. While it’s unclear whether the pictures show the Google Pixel 4 or 4 XL, they confirm that the handset will ditch the Pixel’s long-recycled two-tone design, instead opting for a shiny glass back with a single colour finish.

    You’ll also find a square-shaped camera bump on the rear of the device, which will reportedly comprise a 12MP primary sensor and a 16MP telephoto lens. And around the front, the leaked images confirm that the Pixel 4 will feature a traditional top bezel, likely to house Google’s prematurely-confirmed motion-sensing Soli technology. 

    23/8/19: Google failed to beat the leakers this time, as a source has spilled the full specs of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

    The leak, courtesy of 9to5Google, reveals that Google’s incoming flagship duo will sport 5.7in FHD+ and 6.3in QHD+ OLED displays, respectively. Both of these bezel-flanked screens will boast a OnePlus-rivalling 90Hz refresh rate, according to the leak, a feature Google is reportedly planning to dub ‘Smooth Display.’ 

    Under the hood, both devices will pack Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC, which will be teamed with 6GB RAM – up from 4GB in last years Pixels, and 64GB and 128GB storage options. 

    Around the rear, the leak confirms that the Pixel 4’s ugly-looking camera model will feature two sensors; a 12MP lens with phase-detect autofocus and a 16MP telephoto lens. According to 9to5Google‘s anonymous source, Google is also said to be developing a DSLR-like attachment for the Pixel 4 handsets.

    Elsewhere, assuming the leak is legit, expect the Pixel 4 and 4 XL to pack 2,800mAh and 3,700mAh batteries respectively, stereo speakers, Google’s previously-teased Soli radar chip for gesture controls and the Titan M security module that debuted on the Pixel 3 lineup.

    1/8/19: Google has prematurely confirmed that the Pixel 4 will include hands-free radar-based gesture controls and Face ID-style face unlock.

    In a blog post and accompanying YouTube video (below), Google has detailed Soli, a new motion-sensing radar that its Advanced Technology and Projects has been developing for the past five years. Set to debut on the Pixel 4, the tech will allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls just by waving your hand.

    In addition to Soli, which will be made available in “select markets”, Google has confirmed that the Pixel 4 will feature face unlock using a dot projector and infrared sensors similar to Apple’s Face ID. This combined with Soli will enable the handset to “proactively turn on the face unlock sensors” as you reach for the Pixel, and will allow the feature to work in “almost any orientation — even if you’re holding it upside down.” 

    “Other phones require you to lift the device all the way up, pose in a certain way, wait for it to unlock, and then swipe to get to the homescreen,” Google boasts. “Pixel 4 does all of that in a much more streamlined way.”

    The company notes that the feature will also work for payments, and promises that “image data never leaves your phone.”

    24/7/19: New renders of the Google Pixel 4 suggest the handset’s square-shaped camera bump won’t be its only controversial design element.

    3D renders from iGeeksBlog courtesy of @Onleaks show that while the Pixel 4 and 4 XL will rid of the chunky notch found on last year’s models, both will sport equally-chunky foreheads in addition to a visible chin. 

    Tha hefty top bezel will reportedly serve a purpose, though, as the website notes that the handsets’ front camera will be paired with another lens, likely a ToF sensor or some other sensor needed for 3D face recognition. This will enable Face ID-esque face unlocking, which will be necessary due to the reported lack of both rear-facing and under-screen fingerprint scanners.

    iGeeksBlog also notes that the black space at the right side of the forehead might be for Soli Radar components to enable touchless gestures.

    Elsewhere, the site notes, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL will feature a top-mounted noise-cancelling speaker – likely in the absence of bottom-firing stereo speakers, no 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C charging port. 

    19/7/19: Google’s upcoming Pixel 4 handsets will finally see an upgrade in the RAM department, according to a new leak.

    As per “reliable inside sources” speaking to BGR, Google will equip both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL with 6GB RAM, a welcome upgrade over the measly 4GB stuffed inside last year’s model. Still, perhaps someone should probably tell Google that most modern flagships now ship with 8GB, or in some cases even 12GB RAM. 

    The tipsters also claim that the Pixel 4 handsets will feature larger screens than the Pixel 3; the regular model will sport a 19:9 1080×2280 display, while the Pixel 4 XL will feature a 19:9 1440×3040 panel. Last year’s models features 18:9 and 18.5:9 screens with 1080×2160 and 1440×2960 resolutions, respectively.

    Elsewhere, this latest leak suggests that both phones will be offered with 128GB storage, though BGR notes that it’s still unclear what other capacities will be available. 

    “It’s also not clear if higher-end Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL models might come with additional RAM, but that’s not something Google has done in the past,” it adds.

    17/7/19: The Pixel 4 XL has been spotted in public once again, this time on the London Underground.

    The as-yet-unreleased handset was by an eagle-eyed 9to5Google reader, recognised by its distinctive rear camera setup. While the fuzzy image doesn’t tell us much we don’t already know, the website notes that it gives us a look at the main camera and its accompanying 16MP telephoto lens.

    Pixel 4 leaks have started coming in thick and fast ahead of its likely October launch. A recent beta build of Android Q, version 6.3, all-but-confirmed that the flagship will adopt iPhone X-style face ID unlocking and improvements to its Night Sight mode. 

    12/7/19: Legit-looking renders of the Pixel 4 XL have surfaced online, confirming that Google will ditch the notch in favour of, er, chunky bezels.

    The images (belowcome courtesy of @OnLeaks and Pricebaba and are, typically, based on CAD schematics given to case makers. While we already have a good idea what the rear of the device will look like, the renders give us a good look at the front of the handset, which sports large forehead and chin bezels in place of the much-maligned notch.

    The top bezel appears to house two cameras, and OnLeaks notes that there’s another space on the right-hand side that could house the required sensors for an iPhone-esque Face ID feature.

    Around the back, the images confirm Google’s square-shaped camera array, which will allegedly add 1.1mm of heft to the otherwise 8.2mm-thick handset. There’s no fingerprint scanner visible, though, suggesting the Pixel 4 XL could adopt an under-screen sensor.

    Elsewhere, there’s no headphone jack, nor does it look like there are dual front-facing speakers. Instead, the renders show but then we also see what look like two speaker cutouts either side of the USB-C port on the bottom edge.

    24/6/19: We already have a pretty good idea of what the Pixel 4 will look like, thanks to Google, but a new leak has revealed a new colour option.

    The leaked renders, which come courtesy of leaking site IndiaShopps – take this with a pinch of salt – shows the smaller Pixel 4 handset in three different colours; Black, White and a new ‘Mint Green’ option, the latter of which sports luminous yellow accents.

    We’re also given a glimpse at the front of the handset, which appears to confirm, if legit, that the Pixel 4 will sport a chunky bezel up top, rather than a notch or punch-hole cutout. The lack of a physical fingerprint scanner also suggests that the handset will adopt an under-screen fingerprint scanner, or perhaps adopt a Face ID-style system via the dual front-facing dual cameras.

    12/6/19: Google is seemingly sick of the growing number of Pixel 4 leaks and has taken the unusual step of showing off its next-gen flagship on Twitter. 

    The firm tweeted a picture of the Pixel 4’s backside from its @madebygoogle account, confirming recent rumours that the handset will up the ante in the camera department with what looks like a square-shaped dual-lens array. 

    With the iPhone 11 also set to feature a square camera bump on its rear, many are speculating that the real reason behind Google’s self-pwning leak is so that it isn’t accused of ripping off Apple’s next iPhone. 

    The post doesn’t give much else away, but it does confirm that Google’s long-recycled two-tone design is gone, with the Pixel 4 instead sporting a stripped-back black cladding. 

    According to recent online murmurs, the Google Pixel 4 will also sport a Snapdragon 855 SoC, 6GB RAM, a punch-hole selfie cam, two bottom-mounted speaker grilles and USB-C connectivity. 

    Though Google has already given us a glimpse at the smartphone, we likely have another, er, four months until it’s shown off officially. 

    12/6/19: The Google Pixel 4 has surfaced in live images for the first time ahead of its expected launch in October.

    The snaps (below), courtesy of Twitter tipster Shivam Pandya and GSMArena, show that while previous rumours hinted at a notch, the next Google flagships will, in fact, adopt a punch-hole cutout, similar to that seen on the S10 Plus, which will likely house a dual front-facing camera array, 

    The bezels have also been sized down significantly, with the Pixel 4 lacking the hefty ‘chin’ of previous models. Thanks down to the removal of the front-firing speakers, which are expected to move to the bottom of the handset.

    The leak doesn’t show us the rear of the device, but earlier renders (below) suggests the Pixel 4 and 4 XL will adopt a square-shaped camera array, similar to that expected to debut on the iPhone 11.

    11/5/19: Thanks to OnLeaks and Pricebaba, we might have just caught our first proper look at the Google Pixel 4. 

    The leakers have shared images (below) of “early prototyping schematics” allegedly belonging to the next-gen Google flagship, which show off the handset’s iPhone-esque glass back panel complete with square camera array; a feature set to also make an appearance on the iPhone 11.

    This square-shaped bump will house “at least” two camera sensors, according to Pricebaba, a huge departure from the Pixel line’s long-running dedication to a single-lens camera. 

    There’s no fingerprint scanner on the back, suggesting Google will adopt an in-screen sensor or face unlock, while the positioning of the earpiece around the front all-but-confirms that the Pixel 3’s notch is here to stay. 

    The images don’t tell us much else about the Pixel 4, but does show off the flagship’s USB-C port flanked by two speaker grilles, hinting that Google will ditch traditional front-firing speakers.

    Pricebaba notes that, on the inside, the Pixel 4 – and Pixel 4 XL, presumably – will likely pack a Snapdragon 855 SoC backed up by 6GB RAM, as suggested by previously-leaked benchmarks. 

    17/5/19: Google will allegedly follow in the footsteps of Samsung and equip the Pixel 4 with a punch-hole display.

    So says YouTube channel Front Page Tech‘s Jon Prosser (below) who is typically reliable when it comes to Pixel-related leaks and claims to have got his latest information from a well-vetted “credible” source.

    According to the anonymous blabber, the Pixel 4 – and presumably Pixel 4 XL – will rid of the bezels found on the current Pixel 3 series and instead adopt an Infinity-O-like display complete with an in-screen fingerprint scanner, similar to that seen on the Galaxy S10

    In a less-believable tidbit, the source also claims that the Pixel 4 will feature a completely button-free design, and will instead make use of capacitive touch buttons on the side of the chassis and Google’s squeeze Active Edge feature. 

    3/4/19: The Pixel 3 may be barely six months old, but Google has already officially name-dropped the Pixel 4. 

    As spied by the eagle-eyed staffers at 9to5Google, a Google employee posting to an Android Open Source Project code change made several references to the next-gen Pixel while discussing a fix for an issue related to Google’s ‘KASAN’ memory error detection tool.

    “The plan was to first deploy this on Pixel 3 and make sure that everything actually works,” the Google dev wrote. “Then move on to Pixel 4 and so on. If I had a Pixel 4 device, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with 4.9 in the first place.”

    Beyond the fact that Google has the Pixel 4 in testing, the loose-lipped remark doesn’t tell us much – if anything – about Google’s next Android flagship, although it is confirmation that it actually exists. 

    13/2/19: A loose-lipped Google engineer has revealed that the incoming Pixel 4 will have much more useful dual-SIM functionality. 

    Both the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 use Dual Sim Single Standby (DSSS) technology. This means that while they offer both a standard SIM slot and an eSIM, they can’t both can’t be activated at the same time, meaning users can only talk, text or use data on one line while the other remained largely useless.  

    That’s going to change with the 2019’s Pixel 4, though, which will likely adopt Dual Sim, Dual Standby (DSDS) tech. Comments from a Google engineer on code in the Android Open Source Project, spotted by XDA-Developers, confirm that Big G’s next flagship will support two different cellular networks simultaneously instead of having just one enabled and the other disabled. 

    The unnamed staffer says the feature the souped-up dual-SIM functionality is in active “dogfooding” on the Pixel 3 right now, which means that Google is already testing the feature.

    “This boolean will be set to true in 2019 devices by default,” the engineer’s remarks read.

    “The boolean is required to differentiate 2018 Pixel (which has 2 SIM cards, but dual SIM functionality is restricted to dog fooding) from 2019 Pixel (which will have dual SIM functionality).

    “The flag will be updated over the air for dog fooding.

    “Regarding the bug that you mentioned. In general, some devices will be single SIM, even if they contain two SIM cards, as the Pixel 2018 case and that is a valid configuration.”

    It’s unclear exactly how the feature will work on the Pixel 4, but XDA speculates that the 2019 flagship will offer the same SIM/eSIM configuration as the previous Pixels.

    We don’t yet know much else about Google’s next-generation Pixel smartphones, though early rumours claimed the handsets could offer a notch-free, full-screen design. µ

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