Google unveiled its highly anticipated Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL phones in New York today, after weeks of leaks (both unintentional and intentional) that may have served to dampen the impact of what’s really an exciting leap in phone tech. The two Android 10 devices ditch the screen notches (hooray!) and are packed with machine learning and sensor tech, including a radar sensor that can detect precise motion and sip power while it does so.
Both phones are almost identical, in fact; let’s start with the smaller Pixel 4. It measures 5.7 by 2.7 by 0.3 inches HWD) and weighs 5.7 ounces (162 grams). It features 5.7-inch FHD+ OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and the ability to adjust to ambient lighting conditions with a feature called Ambient Q. The two phones also support a bevy of new gestures for answering and dismissing calls, as well as faster face recognition when you first pick up the phone. Google has also done a lot to boost its Assistant in the Pixel 4s for sharing text threads and buying tickets to events entirely by voice.
The star of the show for Pixel devices has been the camera, and for the Pixel 4, Google has embedded new AI models and imaging science. Both phones (4 and 4 XL) have 8-megapixel front cameras, and a pair of 12.2- and 16-megapixel rear cameras for wide and telephoto shots, marking the first time the Pixel has dual rear cameras. Both also feature dual-pixel phase detection and both optical and digital image stabilization. A new Live HDR+ feature averages the results of a nine-photo burst to further dampen noise and enhance shadow detail. Portrait Mode has improved depth calculation and works better for people standing further back from the lens than before, and Night Sight promises to take even better photos than before in poorly lit conditions–even for astrophotography.
For example, this night sky shot Google supplied shows some incredible detail for the kind of photo that would normally require a tripod and a timed exposure with a DSLR (though you won’t be getting this Milky Way picture anywhere near a city, thanks to light pollution):
The Pixel 4 XL bumps the display size up to 6.3 inches, the screen resolution to QHD+, and boosts the battery from 2,800mAh to 3,700mAh. This model measures 6.3 by 2.9 by 0.3 inches and weighs 6.8 ounces (193 grams). Otherwise, each phone is identical and includes the same cameras, storage options (either 64GB or 128GB), and speaker and microphone array. Both phones include 6GB of LPDDR4x memory, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC, and USB-C ports. Somewhat disappointingly, you only get three months worth of 100GB Google One cloud storage for higher-quality photos.
The Pixel 4 starts at $799 and the 4 XL at $899; both phones can be pre-ordered starting today straight from Google.
- Report: Google Phone Sales Up Dramatically Thanks to Pixel 3a
- Pixel 4 XL Leak Confirms Big Bezel, No Notch
- Google Says Pixel 3 Sales Are Worse Than Pixel 2