The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL aren't due to arrive for many months, but Google is already hard at work on its next-gen flagships. And, while the design still hasn't been finalized, tipster Steve Hemmerstoffer has obtained schematics of one prototype which can be seen in the renders that have been released today. Before proceeding, though, do note that this could be just one of many prototypes devices. Also, even if Google does choose this look, certain details are still subject to change.
Square camera module just like Apple's iPhone 11
Since the launch of the original Pixel and Pixel XL way back in 2016, Google's mobile cameras have often been regarded as some of the best in the industry. But as rival brands have implemented extra functionalities through new lenses, the internet giant’s smartphones have started to lag behind a little. However, with the Pixel 4 series it seems as though Google wants to change this.
As revealed by the renders, the company is leaning towards the idea of an iPhone 11-like square-shaped camera module on the rear that'll be positioned in the top-left corner. The overall darkness of today's images means that it's hard to see what's inside the camera bump, but Hemmerstoffer believes two sensors will be included at minimum, although a triple-camera setup is also possible. If the latter happens, both telephoto and super-wide-angle cameras should make the cut. Otherwise, Google will probably opt for just the telephoto lens.
Completing the rear design setup will presumably be the brand's unique two-tone finish which, once again, should be carved out of glass. Also present in today's renders is a rather large Google 'G' logo towards the bottom of the panel, but the rear-facing fingerprint scanner has been removed.
Google's controversial notch may be making a return after all
Early Google Pixel 4 leaks and rumors pointed towards the presence of a punch hole display on the smartphone. However, while these early renders don't provide a detailed look at the front design, they do show a rather small in-ear speaker positioned quite far from the edge of the aluminum frame. This suggests that Google is actually going to retain the notch on this year's Pixel 4 lineup and instead reduce its overall size to more acceptable dimensions.
Elsewhere on the front of the smartphone, side bezels are expected to be minimal and so is the top portion on either side of the notch. Reports suggest the chin will also be significantly thinner, something that is corroborated by the fact that the front-facing speaker that previously sat inside it is gone. There were some rumors floating around about a potential speaker positioned along the edge of the frame, but the renders suggest Google has instead opted for a bottom-firing speaker which sits next to the usual USB-C port.
Unsurprisingly, there's no sign of a 3.5mm headphone jack anywhere. Also, contradicting more rumors, the Pixel 4 prototype in question does sport physical buttons suggesting Google ultimately scrapped the idea of touch-sensitive replacements.
Google Pixel 4/XL specs and release date
Much like Google’s previous-generation flagships, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are expected to debut with Qualcomm’s best processor inside. That means consumers should gain access to the Snapdragon 855, the same chip Samsung and LG use inside the Galaxy S10 and G8 ThinQ respectively. The base model will most likely ship with 128GB of non-expandable internal storage, although versions with more are likely. Accompanying this should be a minimum of 6GB of RAM which will be a welcome change by consumers. After all, Google has stuck with just 4GB of RAM inside its previous devices, something that has led to performance issues on more recent models.
Unsurprisingly, the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be shipping with stock Android 10 Q pre-installed. Completing the setup should be IP68 water and dust resistance, larger batteries with faster charging, support for 4G LTE networks, and wireless charging.
The Pixel 4 series is expected to go official at Google’s annual hardware event in early October. As usual, pre-orders for the two models will probably commence immediately after the event followed by a release the following week.