Google just tweeted an image of the Pixel 4, a smartphone that the company isn’t expected to ship until October. The tweet comes after renders of the device were published in recent days, revealing a change in design language from Google’s previous devices. “Wait ‘til you see what it can do,” the Pixel team tweeted.
The official image clearly shows at least two rear cameras and a third sensor of some kind in a large camera bump on the phone’s back. There’s also another tiny dot at the lower right of the camera module, which could be a microphone. Is the secondary lens for portraits or a wide-angle perspective? Who knows. Apart from that, we see what looks to be a white or gray power button and the company’s G logo. For the first time ever on a Pixel, there is no rear fingerprint scanner present on this device.
The last few Pixel phones have extensively leaked weeks and sometimes months before Google formally announced them, so this time the company is clearly trying to control the narrative surrounding its next major flagship.
By the time Google got to unveiling the Pixel 3 last year, it had already been photographed, featured in lengthy hands-on videos, been put through camera tests, and even accidentally left behind in a Lyft. The company has never explained how the Pixel 3 made its way out into the world to such an unusual extent well before Google’s October 2018 event. It’s been reported that a stolen batch of devices were sold on the Ukranian black market last summer, leading to an investigation by Google and manufacturer Foxconn.
What we know about the Pixel 4
Renders published by @Onleaks and Pricebaba offer a good preview of the Pixel 4’s external design, which is clearly headed in a new direction from years past. It’s expected that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will come in sizes largely similar to their predecessors. Unbox Therapy’s Lewis Hilsenteger said in a video uploaded June 11th that the larger-sized Pixel 4 XL will not feature a notch; Google will instead move back to a more traditional top bezel that could house advanced face authentication sensors to bring the Pixel 4 closer in line with Apple’s Face ID system.
There have also been hints that Google will build its Project Soli technology into 2019’s Pixel phones. Soli is a small radar that can detect slight movements of a person’s fingers in space above the device. Project Soli could offer a new way for Pixel 4 owners to interact with the device if it’s resting on a table or wireless charging stand.
Google has already confirmed that the next-generation Google Assistant will launch on the Pixel 4 this fall. The updated Assistant will offer dramatically faster responses to voice commands and questions and be able to keep up much better with a normal-flowing conversation.