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Pixel 4 XL could ditch that ugly notch, but bring back the big bezel

Google surprisingly showed us the back of the Pixel 4 smartphone last month, following the reveal of CAD-based renders showcasing the new camera design.

However, an official image of the phone’s good side was conspicuous by its absence. Perhaps that was because the front of the Pixel 4 XL might not be all that popular either?

A new post from @OnLeaks (whose leak pushed Google into the original reveal) claims to show the front of the larger phone (or either for that matter) for the first time. The good news? If the leak is accurate, that whopping great notch is a thing of the past. The bad news? Google has just spread it all the way across the phone, leaving us with a giant bezel.

The return of the bezel would indeed be a double-edged sword for Pixel fans who abhorred the notch. However, it does mean Google is once again failing to push the design envelope with its homegrown range.

Related: Pixel 4 features we want to see

While other companies experiment with punch-hole cut-outs in the display or pop-up selfie cams to minimise screen to body ratio, the image in this leak looks decidedly 2017.

While we analyse each leak of this ilk with a critical eye and a healthy cynicism, the leaker in question has a great track record, and was bang on with the original Pixel 4 leak last month.

Whether that design will translate to the front of the Pixel 4, as well as the larger sibling, remains to be seen. Google used a traditional bezel for the smaller version of its flagship handset rather than the notch.

Unless Google surprises us with more unscheduled glimpses of the phone, we’ve still got a few months before we find out for sure. Google usually reveals its Pixel devices at a special Made By Google hardware event in early October.

Late last week we may have learned the answer to the second camera mystery with Android Q beta code revealing references to a telephoto lens to assist with portrait photography. Slowly but surely, the pieces may be coming together.

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