Google has rolled-out the first beta for Android Q, the mobile operating system that will power the next-generation of its Pixel smartphone range, so it seems only fitting that we get our first glimpse at the as-yet unannounced device a few days later.
The latest leak comes courtesy of SlashLeaks (opens in new tab), which has a somewhat patchy track record when it comes leaked images of unreleased hardware. However, the latest sketch tallies with what we'd expect from the Pixel 3 XL successor.
First, it looks like Google has abandoned the expansive notch that it introduced with the Pixel 3 XL last year. The curvaceous notch at the top of the display, which houses the dual-selfie cameras, sensors and speaker grill, was much deeper than those seen on rival handsets, leading Samsung to publicly mock the design on social media.
With the Pixel 4 XL, Google looks set to take a leaf from the Galaxy S10 Plus and relocate the front-facing cameras into a cut-out in the top right-hand corner of the display. Samsung calls this design an Infinity-O display (because the cut-out in the screen is shaped like an "O", except on the S10 Plus where its pill-shaped to squeeze in the two front-facing cameras, but let's not get bogged down in that ...) and it has allowed the company to increase the screen real estate on its S10 range while simultaneously shrinking the physical size of the device compared to the Galaxy S9.
It's unclear from these leaked schematics whether Google will look to increase the size of the display included on the Pixel 4 XL compared to its predecessor, or whether it will simply shrink the physical footprint of the handset instead.
As for the bezels around the new notchless all-screen design, well, there aren't actually any bezels to speak about. The border around the display looks preposterously thin and really updates the Pixel design, which is looking a little tired compared to rivals like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, OnePlus 6T, and the Samsung Galaxy S10. According to the leaked image, there are two speaker slits – one above and one below the display.
Flip over the Pixel 4 XL, it seems little has changed. Google looks likely to stick with the two-tone case design that it has employed on all previous versions of the Pixel smartphone. However, the leaked image suggests the Pixel 4 XL will have a dual rear-mounted camera. Since the Mountain View-based company has always emphatically insisted that it only needs a single lens to produce the same bokeh-style blur that rivals require dual-camera set-ups to achieve, it seems likely the Pixel 4 XL will use its dual-cameras for something else. Google added a second selfie camera to the Pixel 3 XL to offer ultra-wide angle images – ruling out the need for a selfie stick – so its possible the same feature could be headed to the rear-mounted camera. Samsung offers a similar feature on its new Galaxy S10 series.
Finally, the circular fingerprint scanner found on the rear case of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL is nowhere to be seen on the new schematics. However, Google doesn't look like it's going to opt for facial recognition à la iPhone XS. Instead, high-resolution renders from the team at Phone Arena (opens in new tab) based on the leaked schematics suggest that Pixel 4 XL will have a fingerprint scanner embedded beneath the display.
Of course, the Made By Google hardware event, which has been held in October for the last three years, is still a long way away. As such, it's worth taking these images with a sizeable dose of salt – not to mention skepticism.
Lead Image Credit: Tomasz Zagórski (opens in new tab) / Unsplash