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Google Pixel 5 could ditch a forgotten Pixel 4 feature

The Google Pixel 5 may dispense with the Pixel 4’s Motion Sense feature, according to reports. The Project Soli-powered feature, which enabled control of the smartphone with contact-free gestures, could have set the Pixel 4 apart from other phones on the market. But didn’t.

The radar-based tech was largely an afterthought we’ve barely heard about since the launch last October. So, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see it fall by the wayside as Google reportedly plots a more modest Pixel 5.

The word comes from 9to5Google’s managing editor Stephen Hall, who was promoting the site’s latest podcast on Twitter. He wrote: “In yesterday’s show, we also touched on some things we’re hearing about Pixel 5 from sources — specifically that it will likely leave behind hobbies like Soli.”

Related: Pixel 5 could turn mobile world on its head – opinion

Project Soli, which was previewed heavily in the run up to Pixel 4 phone required a significant hardware array in order to work properly. Among the sensors featuring in the display notch were 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.

In a blog post previewing the feature, Google wrote: “Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand.”

 

The tech also powered the Face Unlock feature that stumbled out of the gate thanks to a giant security loophole that enabled the Pixel 4 to be unlocked by a face with closed eyes. Whether the Pixel 5 will maintain a form of Face Unlock remains to be seen.

It’s possible cutting Project Soli tech could also help Google sell the phone for a lower fee than the Pixel 4. We’re already hearing a below-flagship-level processor may be deployed.

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