This week, Google showcased its forthcoming hardware at a press event in New York’s new Hudson Yards development. One of the most anticipated devices is the Pixel 4—The Pixel 4 is shaping up to be the most ambitious smartphone Google has ever launched. Exciting new features, ranging from secure face unlock, to the ability to control the device with air gestures, and a 90Hz display, have made us quite excited for the handset’s reveal.
Overall, the Pixel 4 is an exciting new Android flagship that should give the iPhone 11 and the Galaxy Note 10 a run for their money. The big Pixel 4 is now available for pre-order. Here’s everything that’s new.
Google Pixel 4 price and release date
The Pixel 4 and 4 XL are available for pre-order now and begin shipping October 24th. This is the same day you should be able to buy both phones in stores.
The Pixel 4 starts at $799 and the Pixel 4 XL will start at $899, both with 64GB of storage. You can upgrade to 128GB of storage on both phones for an extra $100. So the Pixel 4 with 128GB costs $899 and the Pixel 4 XL with 128GB costs $999.
Pixel 4 availability and carriers
One of the biggest pieces of news for the Pixel 4 is that it’s going to be available across all the major carriers. So you’ll be able to buy the Pixel 4 from AT&T, C Spire, Cellcom, Google Fi, Spectrum Mobile (Charter), Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Verizon, Visible and Xfinity Mobile (Comcast).
Google Pixel 4 design and 90Hz display
The new device has a 5.7-inch Full HD OLED display, while the Pixel 4 XL steps up the size to 6.3 inches and has a resolution of Quad HD+—Both displays for Pixel 4 and Pixel 4+ have a refresh rate up to 90Hz, and can refresh faster than based on the content that’s being displayed. This can help save on battery life.
Neither Pixel 4 will get a controversial notch, like the infamously massive one on the Pixel 3 XL that drew criticism from enthusiasts and critics last year. Rather, there’s just a larger top bezel on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The Pixel 4 comes in three colors, including Clearly White, Just Black, and a limited edition, Oh So Orange.
Google Pixel 4 cameras
The star of the phone, like all the Pixels before it, is the camera’s software. The new phones come with enhancements to effectively improve the contrast, brightness, and sharpness of whatever you’re shooting, regardless of how poor a photographer you are.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 feature two rear lenses, a 12-MP wide-angle camera and a 16-MP telephoto lens. The telephoto lens technically has a 2x optical zoom lens, but you can go a lot further with Google’s Super Res Zoom feature.
The major highlight of the Pixel 4 camera is Live HDR+. The phone uses machine learning to approximate HDR+ in the viewfinder, so you don’t have to fiddle with the exposure. What you see is what you get.
To help you get the best photos in challenging light conditions, the Pixel 4’s camera app will let you adjust separate sliders for the brightness and shadows on the fly. Google calls this dual exposure controls—With its astrophotography feature, you should be able to take pictures of the night sky and get professional-looking results.
Last but not least, the Pixel 4 includes an improved portrait mode, which uses both dual pixels and the dual cameras on the back. So you can stand further back and capture larger objects.
Google Pixel 4 Motion Sense and Face Unlock
In a new blog post, the company confirmed the sensors that’ll appear in the phone’s top bezel, unlocking face unlock and a Motion Sense feature powered by Google’s Project Soli technology. There’s even a YouTube clip explaining it all.
From left to right, there’s a face unlock IR camera, a front facing camera, an ambient light/proximity sensor, an audio port, a soli radar chip, a face unlock dot projector, another face unlock IR camera and a face unlock flood illuminator.
As far as face unlock is concerned, Google is promising the activation will be a little faster than solutions like Apple’s Face ID tech. In the post which explains that the features Google wrote: “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 home screen. Pixel 4 does all of that in a much more streamlined way.
Google Pixel 4 New Google Assistant
Google Assistant has been part of most google devices but now is getting smarter and faster with the Pixel 4—from processing speeds up everything to searching for photos and opening apps to sharing plans with friends via text. So you don’t always need to use the cloud to get stuff done. The speed boost also applies to follow-up queries, without having to say “Hey, Google.” For example, you could start by saying “Hey, Google. Show me my photos of Tokyo.” But then just say “The Ones with Food” and then “Share this with Jen.”
Pixel 4 Recorder app with live transcription
Another best feature of the new flagship device is it’s Recorder app, which allows you to record meetings, lectures and phone calls. Not just this, the apps amazingly transcribe speech in real time, and you can even search for words within your recordings. The Recorder app when then let you dive into that recording and start listening right when that word was uttered. Smart huh?? There are lots of transcription services online that charge a pretty penny for this kind of intelligence, so it’s pretty amazing to have this kind of smarts built in to the Pixel 4.
Google Pixel 4 CPU, RAM and Storage
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are powered by the Snapdragon 855 processor, which gets paired with 6GB of RAM—Both phones start with 64GB of storage, but you can go up to 128GB if you spend $100 more than the base price.
Google Pixel 4 battery
The Pixel 4 features a 2,800 mAh battery, which is small compared to other flagship phones. The Pixel 4 XL boosts that capacity to 3,700 mAh, which is also less than what other flagship phones offer. We’ll have to see whether Google’s software and other enhancements can make up for the smaller batteries.
The common theme with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL seems to be saving you time. Less time editing photos. Less time talking to your assistant to get stuff done and less time touching the screen with a phone that tries to anticipate your needs. So the new flagship is generally giving you a run for your money.