With the Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL very well received over the course of the last 12 months, expectations are high for the arrival of the Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL. How is Google going to be able to raise what's already a pretty high bar later in 2019?
Well, we've got some ideas – a pile of leaks, rumours, speculation and even an official tweet from Google itself. Here we're going to guide you through everything we know already about the Google Pixel 4 launch, so you can be prepared for what's coming next.
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Google Pixel 4: release date and price
Remember October 2018? That's when Google took the wrapping off the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and showed the new handsets off to the world. If you want to know when the Google Pixel 4 launch date is, October 2019 is a good bet until we get official confirmation.
That would put a standard 12 months between the Pixel 3 line and the Pixel 4 line, which makes sense considering the sort of release schedules that the likes of Samsung and Apple have settled into now. Launching the Pixel 4 in October would give Google the chance to overshadow whatever Apple reveals with the iPhone 11 in September.
As yet we've seen no specific leaks on a launch date for the Google Pixel 4, but perhaps even Google itself hasn't decided on that yet. The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL broke cover at Google IO in May, almost half way between October 2018 and October 2019 – whether or not we'll get a Pixel 4a next May remains to be seen.
With the 3a and 3a XL mopping up the mid-range buyers at starting prices of £399 / $399 and £469 / $479 respectively, expect Google to push the Pixel 4 price up to the very premium end of the market: we'd expect it to be at least the £739 / $799 or £869 / $899 that the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL went for at launch.
Google Pixel 4: design and screen
Well, since there seems to be some interest, here you go! Wait 'til you see what it can do. #Pixel4 pic.twitter.com/RnpTNZXEI1June 12, 2019
Thank you Google, for showing off what must count as an official leak on Twitter: because of that single image, we know the Pixel 4 is coming with a chunky square housing for its rear camera, and will ditch the recognisable two-tone backing on at least one of the models we're expecting to see this year.
What we don't get from Google's tease is a look at the front of the device. Some concept videos suggest the Pixel 4 is going to stick with the notch, while other unofficial renderings suggest a hole-punch design is going to be used instead (similar to the Galaxy S10). Which one is right is up for debate, but we think Google is going to want to move away from the notch this year.
Thanks to well-known tipster @OnLeaks on Twitter, we have some rumoured Pixel 4 sizes to pore over: somewhere between a 5.6-inch or 5.8-inch screen for the smaller Pixel 4, so the overall dimensions will be 147 mm x 68.9 mm x 8.2 mm (a little taller than the Pixel 3).
Meanwhile the larger Pixel 4 XL is being tipped to come with anything from a 6.2-inch to a 6.4-inch screen, with overall dimensions of 160.4 mm x 75.2 mm x 8.2 mm (very similar to the Pixel 3 XL). Like last year, the size differences between the two phones are going to be significant.
Leaks of the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL, and the potential hardware designs coming with them, continue to hit the web – there's even some talk that one of the handsets that engineers used on stage at Google IO was the Pixel 4 in disguise.
Most of the evidence at this stage points towards Google adding a multi-lens camera array on the back of the Pixel 4 phones, and getting rid of the chunky notch on the front – possibly in favour of a hole-punch design similar to the one on the Galaxy S10. We'll no doubt get further leaks between now and October, and some of them might even come from Google itself.
Google Pixel 4: specs and features
We haven't seen as many leaks and rumours around the specs for the new Google Pixel 4 as we have for its design, but based on the other flagship Android phones we're seeing in 2019, it looks certain that the Snapdragon 855 is going to be the processor running the show. Google might even boost the RAM from 4GB this year.
And what of the camera, one of the key selling points of the Pixel series? Up until now, Google has stuck with a single-lens model, and managed to get fantastic results out of it – but the design leaks we've shown you above suggest that this year we're going to get a boost to what looks like a triple-lens affair.
That should lead to a major upgrade in photo-taking capabilities. Elsewhere, wireless charging is expected to be retained from last year, and the usual IP68 waterproofing is almost certainly set to be included as well. This far down the line it doesn't look like microSD card storage is something that the Pixels will ever feature.
We do know the Google Pixel 4 software is going to be Android Q out of the box, complete with better privacy controls, dark mode, and all the other features arriving with the operating system. It would appear the fingerprint sensor is set to go under the display this year as well, for easy access to unlocking your phone.