Pixel 4: All we know about Google’s next phone, including its design and release date

Google’s next flagship smartphone is expected to land as the Google Pixel 4, and the search giant’s previous release plans suggest that the handset will launch very soon.

The Pixel 3 won huge plaudits for the quality of its camera, but the newer Huawei P30 Pro has just about taken the crown for smartphone camera king. What could the Pixel 4 do to wrestle it back for Google?

Google Pixel 4 Release Date – When will the Google Pixel 4 be released?

So far our best information on launch date comes from the reliable tipster Evan Blass, who has posted a picture of a leaked alleged marketing calendar from the US mobile network Verizon Wireless. It claims that the next Pixel will be released in mid-to-late October.

Image credit: @evleaks/Twitter

Big mobile launches such as this tend to follow a pattern, so that October date isn’t even slightly surprising. Here’s a look at the release dates for the previous three Pixel phones in the range:

  • Google Pixel: October 2016
  • Google Pixel 2: October 2017
  • Google Pixel 3: October 2018

In other words, we’re very confident that the Pixel 4 launch will take place in October.

Google Pixel 4 Price – How much will the Pixel 4 cost?

The Google Pixel 4 is a flagship smartphone, so these days that means you’ll be spending the best part of a grand to get your hands on one. On launch, the Pixel 3 cost £739 ($799), and the Pixel 3 XL cost £869 ($899) – we expect similar prices for the Pixel 4, or even a price increase from last year.

If that would price you out of your ideal handset, then Google’s mid-range series might be more to your taste. Released in May, the Google Pixel 3a (£399/$399) and Pixel 3a XL (£469/$479) offer the same camera hardware as the premium editions, but cut the price due to a less powerful processor and plastic rather than glass build.

Google Pixel 4 Design — What will the Google Pixel 4 look like?

Google took the unusual step of revealing the Pixel 4’s design months in advance. As you can see, it looks very similar to renders of the upcoming iPhone 11:

This would mark a radical shift in design philosophy – it appears that Google is ditching the iconic two-tone gloss and matte back panel that had become a calling card of the range.

More importantly, this will be the first-ever Pixel to have more than one rear camera.

At least one classic Pixel touch remains, in the form of the contrasting colour of the power button. The image only depicts the rear of the device, so we’re yet to discover if thick bezels will remain above and below the screen.

We expect there to be a large-screen Pixel 4 XL model too — but will it repeat the mistake of the Pixel 3 XL’s ugly, intrusive notch?

Google Pixel 4 Camera – How good will the Pixel 4’s camera be?

In our in-depth review, we rated the Pixel 3’s camera as the best smartphone snapper money could buy — that is, until the launch of the Huawei P30 Pro. Will the next Pixel manage to win back the coveted title for Google?

So far we don’t have much information on the Google Pixel 4’s camera. However, thanks to the aforementioned official tweet from Made by Google, we do know that it’s going to feature more than one sensor − a first for the Pixel range, but standard across much of the rest of the smartphone market.

Judging from the darkly-lit image there will be two large sensors, a flash, and possibly a smaller sensor at the top, which could be a ToF sensor or a macro camera.

What’s really set the Pixel apart from the competition has been its cutting-edge image processing software, and we can’t wait to see the improvements Google has in store for this year’s flagship.

Related: Best camera phones

Google Pixel 4 Performance – How powerful will the Pixel 4 be?

So far we don’t have much information on the internal components. But based on the pattern set by previous models, we expect the next Pixel to come loaded with the latest flagship Qualcomm chipset: the Snapdragon 855.

Unfortunately for buyers though, this release schedule means that Pixels always ship with a Qualcomm processor right at the end of its lifecycle (in this case, we expect the Snapdragon 865 to be released soon after).

Intriguingly, Android Central reports that Google could include a Soli chip in the Pixel 4. This cutting-edge tech would allow you to make hand gestures to control apps on your phone, including volume controls, setting clocks, or navigating on maps. The video below (from 2015) explains how Soli uses radar to map hand gestures, with implications especially for media control:

Soli would be a fascinating innovation, certainly distinguishing the Pixel 4 from its peers. But wait for our full review after its release, where we will assess whether it’s a useful daily aid or merely a dazzling but unnecessary distraction.

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