Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL: Everything we know

Leaked Pixel 4 display sizes could mean smaller bezels on Google's new phone

As we inch closer to October, leaks and even official news about Google’s next phone — the Pixel 4 — continue to surface. The Google Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3a have established Google’s prowess with smartphone photography, so how will the Pixel 4 take it all further?

How’s it shaping up? Well, we know what the back of the Pixel 4 will look like because Google posted a photo of it on Twitter. Here’s everything else we know about it so far:

Display

We’re expecting to see the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL again this year, and that means we’ll be getting two different sizes of phone. While the underlying tech has often remained the same, the two Pixel phones have often seen slightly different screen designs, with the Pixel 3 XL embracing a notch, while the Pixel 3 remained notch-less. Will Google bring the two Pixel 4 handsets together this year, or will they be radically different once again?

While details on specific screen designs remain uncertain, well-known leaker OnLeaks has shown us what we can expect in terms of screen sizes and body size.

If accurate, this would mean the Pixel 4 has a larger display than the Pixel 3, but a body that’s only slightly larger. That would mean Google has shrunk the Pixel 4’s bezels — though it’s unlikely to be on the level of a phone like the Galaxy S10. On the other hand, the Pixel 4 XL’s display looks to be more or less the same size as the Pixel 3 XL’s, but with a slightly taller, if thinner body. Could this signal an end to the Pixel 3 XL’s rather ugly notch? We’ll have to wait to find out.

Design

Google Pixel 4
Google

What will the Pixel 4 look like? We already have an official look, thanks to Google’s keenness to show it off. But now what looks like a Pixel 4 has been spotted out in the real world too. It seems likely the phone in the photo, where it’s clutched by an unidentified man, is the Pixel 4 as it shares the same camera module design as Google’s image. Unless it’s actually an iPhone, of course.

google pixel 4 news in the wild leak

It’s wrapped in a fabric-style case, the type which Google has released for previous Pixel phones. The phone was apparently in use on a train somewhere in London, and the photographer managed to catch a glimpse of the phone’s front, and stated it has a large bezel at the top with two camera lenses, just like the Pixel 3.

Prior to this, Google surprised everyone by tweeting an image of the upcoming Google Pixel 4, showing off a square camera bump on the back. The company confirmed to Digital Trends that the image is “the real deal” — so what you are looking will eventually be the Google Pixel 4. In the camera bump, it looks as though there are two cameras, marking a change for the Pixel series that has traditionally stuck with a single lens. Not only that, but the image appears to show that the company is getting rid of the two-tone look for the Pixel 4.

There may be another sensor above the two cameras, and this could be a time-of-flight camera to measure depth. We can’t be sure just yet.

Before Google officially showed off the design of the upcoming device, we had an idea that it might have a square camera bump. A pair of design test pieces, the kind used by accessory manufacturers to create cases, that were claimed to be the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were shown in a YouTube video.

The pair clearly show the square camera lens cutout in the top left of the back panel, a controversial design trait also associated with the next iPhone. Otherwise, the mockups show the volume and power buttons on the side of the device, and a body with rounded corners. The screens are not visible, but a cutout for a speaker suggests it will have a notch or large bezel.

The dark renders below also show the same square camera bump design on the back, but the screen is not shown in detail. However, it’s claimed the notch will remain. The Pixel 4 range will still lack a headphone jack, apparently, and also a visually obvious fingerprint sensor. This most likely means Google is either aiming to implement an under-display fingerprint scanner, or more powerful facial-recognition on the level of Apple’s Face ID.

eSIM support

A previous rumor about the Pixel 4 is that it could have much better dual SIM support, according to a Google engineer who posted comments on code for the Android Open Source Project. In those comments, the engineer noted that the device may have better support for dual SIMs, which will likely mean that the device will support being able to connect to two cellular networks at once.

It’s not surprising to see Google add dual SIM support for the Pixel 4, but how it ends up working could be very different from previous Pixel phones. Both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 3 have both an eSIM and a physical SIM tray, but they can’t be used at the same time.

On the Google Pixel 4, Google could include two SIM card slots, or space for two SIM cards on the one tray — though that will still require a few software tweaks. More likely is that Google would include an eSIM, or an electronic SIM that can be connected to different networks through software, on top of the physical SIM tray.

Because of the fact that the Pixel 2 and 3 already have both an eSIM and physical SIM, it’s possible the feature could roll out as part of a software update that would bring the functionality to the older phones. Google appears to be testing ways for stock Android to handle dual SIM cards. There are two ways the company could go about it. One of those ways is called “Dual SIM Dual Active,” in which both SIM cards can be used at any time. The other is called “Dual SIM Dual Standby,” where the second SIM isn’t always active, but can receive calls and texts.

Dual SIM functionality is relatively important to a lot of people, especially those who travel a lot. With a dual SIM, users can keep their regular SIM installed in their device, while also connecting to a second local network to use while they’re in a different country.

We’ll update this article as we hear more about the upcoming Google Pixel 4.

Updated on June 18, 2019: Added leaks of the Pixel 4’s screen sizes.

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