Google has announced its latest Pixel smartphones, which include several new features and an improved camera system. As in previous years, the new Pixel will come in a standard 5.7-inch size and a larger ‘XL’ variant with a 6.3-inch screen and larger battery.
Both phones come with the 10-month-old Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chip, 64GB or 128GB of storage, wireless charging, Android 10 and no headphone jack. Google has bumped both devices’ RAM up to 6GB, from the previous 4GB.
Google is still holding out from a trio of cameras on the rear, but it has moved from one camera to two (on both the Pixel 4 and XL model). One camera is 16MP with ƒ/2.4 aperture and the second is 12.2MP with a ƒ/1.7 aperture – they’re supplemented by a 8MP front-facing selfie camera. The idea is that both cameras capture images independently and then software stitches them together. The lens that’s missing when compared to competitors is an ultra-wide angle camera.
The on board facial recognition technology uses a motion-sensing radar called Moli that’s looking to compete with Apple’s FaceID system. Google is at pains to point out all the personal information stays on the phone and isn’t transmitted to its servers. The company also says its technology can go further than what Apple offers.
The Pixel 4 has what Google calls ‘Motion Sense’ which allows people to swipe their hand in front of the screen and execute a command without actually touching it.
Pixel 4 will be the first device with Soli, powering our new Motion Sense features to allow you to skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls, just by waving your hand, Google said.
These capabilities are just the start, and just as Pixels get better over time, Motion Sense will evolve as well.
One unique feature Google introduced with the Pixel 4 is car crash detection, which can recognise if you’ve been in an auto accident and automatically call 999 for you.
Pixels have always been known for their photographic ability and this latest model adds an extra lens for the first time. The standard 12-megapixel camera has been joined by a 16-megapixel telephoto one while the front-facing shooter remains the same 8-megapixel one from the Pixel 3.
Google stole a march on Apple’s Night Mode by announcing Night Sight (a camera mode that brightens darker pictures) for the Pixel 3 last year. Twelve months on and Google is pushing ‘astrophotography’ with a new mode on the Pixel 4 dedicated to capturing the night sky – whether or not you’ve got the phone settled on a tripod.
The phones will come with Android 10 pre-installed and will be the first to receive security and software updates.
The company has revamped how Google Assistant looks. It can now be activated by completing a small swipe up from the bottom right-hand side of the phone’s screen.
The Google Pixels are being made available in black, white and a limited edition orange. Google will be selling them from October 24 and the cheapest model will begin at £669.
Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL Specs
|Pixel 4||Pixel 4 XL|
|Operating system||Android 10||Android 10|
|Display||5.7-inch OLED, 2280×1080 (19:9)|
|6.3-inch OLED, 3040×1440 (19:9)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
Pixel Neural Core
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
Pixel Neural Core
|Rear camera 1||12MP, 1.4µm, f/1.7, OIS, PDAF||12MP, 1.4µm, f/1.7, OIS, PDAF|
|Rear camera 2||16MP telephoto, 1,0µm, f/2.4,||16MP telephoto, 1.0µm f/2.4|
|Front camera||8MP, f/2.0, auto focus|
|8MP, f/2.0, auto focus|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS||Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS|
|Charging||18W USB-C PD|
|18W USB-C PD|
|Security||Face Unlock||Face Unlock|
|Dimensions||147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2 mm|
|160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2 mm|
|Colours||Just Black, Very White, Oh So Orange||Just Black, Very White, Oh So Orange|