Everything you have heard and everything you have seen via numerous leaks is true to its last bit. Google has officially unveiled (the already unveiled through leaks) the next-generation Pixel smartphones – the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The biggest highlight of this year’s phone is the dual back camera module, that would enable you to capture even the stars. Also, there is the motion sense via Soli radar chip and the new Google Assistant.
Everything sounds great, BUT the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL duos won’t launch in India. Behind the screens, the issue lies with the Soli radar motion-sensing chip which uses the frequency band 60GHz mmWave. It seems India yet have to open the particular frequency range for commercial usage. Thus the company couldn’t secure the necessary permission to use this frequency band.
In an official statement from Google spokesperson, “Google has a wide range of products that we make available in different regions around the world. We determine availability based on a variety of factors, including local trends, and product features. We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India. We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India.“
Capture the cosmos
Keeping aside the sad news, let’s get back on the features and specification of Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. One of the biggest enhancement is in the camera department, which now backed by a dual-lens and lots of AI computational photography magic. The first thing is the live HDR+ with dual exposure controls. The live HDR+ preview in the viewfinder offers a clear idea of the processed picture before you even hit the shutter. Along with it is the dual exposure control which lets you separately control highlights and shadows or tone mapping.
Next comes with machine learning-based white balancing which was first been used in the older Pixel 3 for Night Sight shots. With Pixel 4, Google is expanding this feature to all camera modes. Portrait mode gets a big boost in Pixel 4 with its dual-camera and advancement in dual-pixel PDAF. Backgrounds in your photos fade into a more artful blur, giving photos a DSLR-like quality.
Pixel 4 cameras with Night Sight mode can shoot the stars or astrophotography feature. By taking long exposure shots (with the help of tripod or keeping the phone on the steady surface) you could capture the stars and moon in the night sky. Do note that, the phone would take around four minutes or more to process one of these shots.
Both phones get a dual-camera setup at the rear side. This includes the 12.2MP standard shooter with f/1.7 aperture, 77-degree field of view and autofocus with dual pixel phase detection. It’s joined by a 16MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and features f/2.4 aperture. Both this lens supports optical and electronic image stabilization. In the front of the phones, there’s the 8MP selfie camera with a 90-degree field of view and f/2.0 aperture. The rear camera can record 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p at up to 120fps.
The 90 Hz Display
Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL has glass sandwich design with Aluminum frame in between. You get the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and Soft touch or polished glass (that too Corning Gorilla Glass 5) on the back which has a matte finish hybrid coating. The phone is IP68 rated for dust and water protection.
The Pixel 4 flaunts a 5.7-inch FHD+ flexible OLED display with a pixel density of 444 ppi. Whereas the bigger brother Pixel 4 XL comes with a 6.3-inch QHD+ flexible OLED display with a pixel density of 537 ppi. Both the phones display got 19:9 aspect ratio and supports up to 90 Hz refresh rate. The screen can dynamically adjust between 60Hz and 90Hz based on the content, just like the OnePlus 7 series. There’s no notch on both the phones but got a sizeable bezel at the top which packs the IR based face unlock cameras, Soli radar module and the front camera.
Radar to sense motion
Google is bundling its Soli radar capabilities on the Pixel 4 phones. You get an array of Quick Gestures to control the phone. Like waving your hand above the screen to skip songs or navigate your music. You could also use the same action to snooze alarms and silence phone calls.
Other than the Quick Gestures, the radar capabilities can also detect when you’re reaching for the phone and thus can wake up face unlock sensor to instantly unlock your phone. Google has a dedicated website where you could learn more about Soli.
Under the hood, both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL powered by 64-bit Octa-core 2.84 GHz + 1.78 GHz, Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and Adreno 640 GPU. The phone chip also packs Titan M Security Module and Pixel Neural Core. For storage, you could choose from either 64GB or 128GB option and there is no expandable microSD card slot.
Both phones run on Android 10 out of the box and you will get guaranteed 3 years of security and OS updates. It includes the new Google Assistant, which does most of its task or processing locally in the phone itself. Thus it’s pretty much fast and snappy.
Coming to connectivity, the Pixel 4 phones have a single Nano-SIM slot, but also comes with an eSIM. Thus you would get dual-SIM connectivity with Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS) option. The phone supports 4G LTE, VoLTE, 3G and 2G networks along with Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 + LE and NFC. The phone also packs the Active Edge sensor which allows you to squeeze the side of the phone to do various gestures.
The Pixel 4 packs a relatively smaller 2800 mAh battery, whereas the Pixel 4 XL get the bigger 3700 mAh battery. Both phones support 18 W fast charging and Qi-certified wireless charging.