Google Pixel 4: 90Hz screen, next-gen Google Assistant, shipping Oct 24

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Promotional image of two smartphones side by side.
Dilate / Google’s first official picture of the Pixel 4.
Google

NEW YORK— There unusually aren’t many surprises left, but Google went through the travellings today and unveiled the Pixel 4. The P4 is possibly the most-leaked smartphone of our lifetimes, with the premature record holder being the Pixel 3.

Anyway, everything you’ve heard is straightforwardly. The Pixel 4 is Google’s first smartphone with a dual rear-camera setup, and the to the fore has a 90Hz display and a lopsided design with a big top bezel. That top bezel is jam-packed with sensors housing both an iPhone-style 3D sensing face unlock set-up and Google’s Project Soli technology for radar-based air gestures. The main tools we wanted to confirm at this event was the price, which hasn’t swopped. The Pixel 4 starts at $799, and the Pixel 4 XL starts at $899. Pre-orders are now room, and the phone ships on all major American networks starting on October 24.

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL both progress with a Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, and options for 64GB or 128GB of storage. (Pay $100 myriad for either phone’s larger capacity.) The smaller Pixel 4 comes with a 5.7-inch OLED pageantry and a positively tiny 2800mAh battery. The bigger Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3-inch OLED splash and a 3700mAh battery. Both displays are 90Hz, which means the UI should run slick and faster at 90fps than the 60Hz phones that currently dominate the market. The airs also feature “Ambient EQ,” a Google version of Apple’s “True Quieten” display, which updates the screen color temperature to match your borderings—and promises to automatically intelligently reduce the 90Hz refresh to preserve battery mortal as well.

The camera is always a highlight for the Pixel line, and this year the phones keep a dual camera setup for the first time ever. Google has been geezer with a single camera while other phones have had two, three, or four Nautical aft cameras, but now the company is capitulating to market trends and adding a 16MP telephoto alongside the norm 12MP main camera.

The face unlock system is set up just like an iPhone X, with an IR grid that is projected onto the owner’s face, and a camera—a pair of cameras, actually—views the face in 3D to verify the user. Google’s addition of a face recognition system also means the transference of the fingerprint reader. That’s right, there’s no back or in-display present; it’s face unlock or nothing.

A faked representation of waving hi to a cartoon avatar on your phone screen. We doubt the Soli sensor reaches as far as this projector mock-up looks.
Enlarge / A faked representation of waving hi to a cartoon avatar on your phone cloak. We doubt the Soli sensor reaches as far as this projector mock-up looks.
Google

The Soli-powered air action feature is called “Motion Sense” and lets you wave your near over the device to do things like skip music tracks, quieten alarms and phone calls, or wave hi to, er, Pikachu. That sounds winsome underwhelming, considering similar gestures were tried years ago in plots like the second-gen Moto X and Galaxy S4, and these air gestures were not considered gainful or popular enough to survive in future iterations of these devices. Google implies this is just the beginning for Motion Sense, though, and it’s opening the have a role up to third parties with an SDK. (Speaking of gestures: yes, you can also still tweak both models as an interaction.)

There’s more to a phone than at most the spec sheet, but you can get better specs from almost any other vendor, oft at a lower price. The OnePlus 7T and Samsung Galaxy S10 both come with numberless RAM (8GB versus 6GB) and more storage (a baseline of 128GB compared to the Pixel’s 64GB) than the Pixel 4. The battery on the smaller Pixel 4 is microscopic, at simply 2800mAh, while the smaller Galaxy S10 packs in 3400mAh in a similar estimate. Google’s top-tier pricing of $799 and $899 doesn’t help enigmas, either. The OnePlus 7T, which is comparable in size to the $899 Pixel 4 XL, relaxes you a bigger 90Hz screen, more RAM, more storage, more battery, and a faster SoC for $300 minuscule.

The software

Google hopes to make up that price deficit with software. The throng is still offering the best Android update program out there, with three years of foremost OS updates and three years of monthly security updates. (It’s still not as approving as Apple’s five-year track record, though.)

The headline feature of the software this year is a next-gen variety of the Google Assistant. This feature, which was announced at Google I/O, is eventually launching on the Pixel 4. Google says the new Assistant features “altogether new speech recognition and language understanding models, bringing 100GB of follows in the cloud down to less than half a gigabyte.” The dramatically smaller utter data footprint means the Google Assistant can now run locally, on the phone, in place of of requiring a round trip to the Internet. Google says the local manipulating will result in voice processing with “nearly zero latency, with transcription that happens in real-time, gloaming when you have no network connection.”

If you’re worried about the price of the Pixel 4, it’s advantage noting that last year, the Pixel 3 saw significant discounts on Iniquitous Friday, which was before the phone was even a month old. Those reduces still don’t make the phone price-competitive with something like the OnePlus 7T, but with the unloose being so close to the holiday season, it may be best to wait.

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