Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL rumor review: Design, specs, camera, price and release date

Google Pixel 4 mock-up based on leaked information

Google Pixel 4 mock-up based on leaked information


We're well into 2019, and the fourth generation of Pixel phones is knocking at the door. There might be a few months until Google's upcoming flagships hit the shelves, but the first wave of rumors about them have already started vying for our attention and spiking our interest. 

The tiny droplets of hearsay found here and there will surely expand into a deluge of leaks as the year progresses. So much so that it will be hard to keep track of everything at one point. 

We created this Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL rumor review to keep you in the loop about the latest hot gossip. It contains every interesting bit of speculation about the future models, and we will be updating it with more juicy info as time goes on. So feel free to bookmark and check it every once in a while to stay informed!


How many new models this time around? Will we see a 5G Pixel 4 or a Pixel 4 Lite?


Good things come in threes, or at least that's what some people say. Rumors of Google releasing a trio of flagship phones have been abundant in the last couple of years. Supposed leaks started circulating prior to the announcement of the second-gen Pixels and also preceded the release of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. However, this year, it's not a far stretch to assume that the tech giant could release a greater number of handsets in a bid to take a bigger bite out of the market. 

Now that Google has announced the Pixel 3a and 3a XL, it's quite unlikely that another budget option will be announced in the fall. For all we know, the next affordable Pixels will be released no earlier than 2020. 

Lastly, let's talk about 5G. In 2019, many carriers in the US and around the globe are expected to release the first 5G networks. This fact has been known for quite some time. It even prompted some phone makers to release models that support the frequency before such a network was even available. Since Google is expected to release its Pixel phones a couple of months before the year ends, the company has time to develop and introduce a 5G Pixel 4, at least in theory. 

Design – An area where Google needs to step up


Look ma', no buttons!

Look ma', no buttons!

When it comes to smartphone design innovation, there are two types of manufacturers – trend-setters and trend followers. So far, Google falls in the second category, and unfortunately, the company hasn't always impressed. No one can deny that the Pixel 3 and 3 XL are zippy performers with outstanding cameras, but they haven't wowed us in terms of design. The sizable notch and bottom bezel of the Pixel 3 XL seem almost grotesque when compared to competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S9 or the newer S10, OnePlus 6T, or the iPhone XS. While the smaller Pixel 3 is more pleasing to the eye, it looks almost ancient in the age of all-screen phones. 

Google Pixel phone with bezel-less display and stereo speakers. Image from patent

Google Pixel phone with bezel-less display and stereo speakers. Image from patent


Fortunately, there are strong indications that Google will step up its game in 2019. A couple of patent applications from January hint that the tech giant is working on an all-screen phone. Another leak from just a few days ago indicates that the next Pixel devices might take inspiration from the "punch-hole" design of the Galaxy S10 series. Nothing trend-setting, but undoubtedly a better execution than Google's previous attempts. Let's just hope that this turns out to be true.

Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL hands-on renders

Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL hands-on renders

The latest alleged schematic also suggests that we'll see dual-camera setups at the front and back on at least one of the devices. This is quite a major change, so we'll cover this in more detail in the section below. 

Now, let's turn our attention to the last interesting bit of information. The fingerprint scanner–traditionally placed at the back of a Pixel phone–is nowhere to be found on the leaked image. If this is truly the real deal, it could mean one of three things. We will see the digits reader either built into the power button of the next Pixel, or we'll be treated to a more modern under-display solution. The third option involves removing this form of biometric authentication entirely and substituting it with an advanced Face ID-like system, much like what Apple did with the iPhone X and later models.


No buttons?


The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL might have no physical buttons

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL might have no physical buttons


According to a new rumors, the Pixel 4 series will ditch all physical buttons in favor of an uninterrupted aluminum frame. Rather than including clickable power and volume keys, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will reportedly make their debut with a set of capacitive touch alternatives along the right side.

The reason for this major change was not disclosed, but it could potentially have something to do with an existing feature. The Pixel 4 series, like previous generations, is expected to support Google’s Active Edge squeezable frame. In its current form, the feature is limited to certain sections of the aluminum frame where physical buttons don’t interfere. However, by replacing these keys with capacitive alternatives, the internet giant could potentially extend the feature along the entire side of the device.

Regardless of Google’s reasoning, a massive change such as this one will undoubtedly be met with heavy criticism. Many will argue that it’s also highly unlikely but, while this leak should be taken with the usual pinch of salt, according to Prosser the source of the information is credible.

Pixel 4 XL with no buttons

Pixel 4 XL with no buttons


Camera: More sensors = more fun?


Pixel handsets have a reputation for being some of the top devices for mobile photography. Thus, we have no reason to believe that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be an exception. The current-gen models were the first to boast dual front-facing cameras, and this time around, we could see two main sensors at the back as well! 

Many manufacturers frivolously jumped on the dual-camera bandwagon to seem trendy and appealing, but Google took a different approach. The company stuck with a single main camera and still managed to best most of its competitors. This was done through advanced hardware and software that allowed Pixel models to boast an exceptional image-processing prowess. 

However, the latest rumors indicate that the company might have decided to use two sensors at the back. The elongated oval shape of the camera module in the latest leaked image suggests so. If Google has been best in show with just a single snapper, imagine what two could do.

At this point in time, we don't have more specifics, but we'll make sure to update you as new information arrives.

Google Pixel 4 & 4 XL specs and new features


The Snapdragon 855 is expected to power Google's new Pixel phones

The Snapdragon 855 is expected to power Google's new Pixel phones

As any respectable Android flagship, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are expected to rock Qualcomm's latest SoC – the Snapdragon 855. So far, information about RAM and internal storage is scant, but compared to what we have now, this area could see an improvement in 2019. 

The current lineup features 4GB of RAM with a starting storage capacity of 64GB. To compete with other Android heavyweights, Google will need to bump the RAM to 6GB, at the least. The base model having 64GB of internal memory might be still acceptable if there was an SD card slot, but since these components are omitted on Pixel phones, we hope that storage options will start from 128GB.

So far, the only special feature spewed out by the rumor mill concerns an improved Dual SIM functionality for the upcoming models. The current and last-gen lineups carry both an eSIM and SIM card slots. But, these Dual SIM slots are Single Standby. This means that the eSIM and SIM card slots can't be both active at the same time. However, the new Pixel phones will be Dual SIM, Dual Standby, which removes this problem. Essentially, this will allow you to do things like receiving a call on one number and a text on the other. Dual Standby won't let you to be on two calls or have two text messages going on at the same time; however. For that, a third option is needed – Dual SIM, Dual Active.

Google Assistant on steroids


A quite impressive demo of the future Google Assistant was shown at the opening keynote of Google I/O '19, showcasing the speediness and immediacy of its responses. The audience was indeed left quite impressed, as the Assistant managed to effortlessly jump from task to task without stopping to think or process for any noticeable amount of time. Still, it's reasonable to expect that those actions that do not require internet connection will benefit more from this upgrade, as opposed to network-dependent ones. The kicker here? This next-gen Google Assistant will probably be a Google Pixel 4 exclusive for a certain time, or so it seems, but there shouldn't be any concrete reason why "older" hardware wouldn't be supporting this next-gen Assistant.

Pixel 4 & 4 XL price and release date expectations



Google has been hiking the prices of its handsets in small increments over the years. The base models of the original Pixel and Pixel XL had an initial MSRP of around $650 and $769, respectively. Their third-gen successors were priced at $799 and $899 upon release. This amounts to an average price increase of around $50 per year. 

It's logical to assume that Google will add a further $50 to the MSRP of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. However, we mustn't forget that the tech giant will also have to take its rivals into consideration. Both Apple and Samsung have included a more affordable handset in their flagship portfolio. The iPhone XR and Samsung Galaxy S10e start at $750 and will get cheaper as time passes. This could put the smaller Pixel at a disadvantage, especially if it costs $850 off the blocks. As such, Google could either stick to its 2018 price points or, as we speculated earlier, introduce a third, cheaper model to compete in that space. 

Now, let's talk about the announcement and release dates. When will the Pixel 4 and 4 XL come out? It's very likely that the upcoming handsets will break cover in the first 10 days of October, as this is what happened for the last three years. Google also has a trend of releasing its phones a little less than a month from announcement, so we should expect them to hit the shelves in early November, at the latest. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, as more information about the upcoming flagships becomes available!

FEATURED VIDEO

53 Comments

1. iushnt

Posts: 3052; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Infinity O display for pixel 4

37. eausa

Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 28, 2019

But without One UI, no thanks. I'm so used to all the perks of Samsung UI going back to stock is not an option. Does it have Secure Folder? Lift to Wake, Gallery Trash Folder, One handed use, Smart Orientation? There are tons more that I use on a daily basis, too much to list.

43. andrewc31394

Posts: 275; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Lift to Wake

53. Reviewerofstuff

Posts: 82; Member since: Jun 02, 2018

I agree One Ui is equal or better than stock now.

2. monoke

Posts: 1126; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

Aww man. Don't tell me the market's now gonna be flooded with these stupid hole in screen designs. Can't stand it when one popular oem makes an awful decision and everybody else just copies it... Look at the size of that damn thing!

3. drunkenjay

Posts: 1633; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

? the cutout is fine. stop crying. its either the notch, cutout or the huge bezel. id choose the cutout than the notch or the bezel.

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2249; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

There is a fourth option of slider or pop out like Oppo and Xiaomi have introduced.

9. Subie

Posts: 2270; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Good point Dr.Phil. I use the front camera once a year at best. So if I could choose, it would be the pop out design.

28. mrochester

Posts: 944; Member since: Aug 17, 2014

So you always unlock with your pin rather than Face ID?

44. DFranch

Posts: 511; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

I use my fingerprint, not face ID.

23. drunkenjay

Posts: 1633; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

there is but a mechanical slider makes it non waterproof (at least for samsung) and has a high chance of failure due to constant sliding up and down.

39. Armeniandave

Posts: 19; Member since: Jun 19, 2016

The not waterproof isn't important to a lot of people. It is nice to have but for many of us that do not use the front camera more than a few times a month it doesn't outweigh the benefit of the camera sliding out of the way. And there is absolutely no proof there will be a high chance of failure especially since most people do not keep there phones for more than two years.

48. rsiders

Posts: 1860; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

OnePlus has entered the chat. :D

12. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1172; Member since: May 01, 2017

Its called collaborating....Samsung approached Google and Apple with samples of the display to use

36. Vogue1985

Posts: 353; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Lol, just buy a phone with 1inch bezel, some many of them. And if it not a flagship you save money. Get a IPhone it's tone many thick bezel and a small screen plus u size alot of money.forget about the big screen face Id fingerprint in screen. Of better many an S4 (although it's got a big screen). :-) you are welcome

45. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1172; Member since: May 01, 2017

Copy? Do your research before you start crying. Samsung approached Google and Apple themselves about bringing the display to their devices

46. Vogue1985

Posts: 353; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

buy a iphone 7 plus android clone. you get all the bezel and small you can have.

50. riteshrkm

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 15, 2015

I want to ask Everyone here what is wrong with a thin Symmetrical Bezel how it is in Note 9. Why cant everyone stick to it? How much diff does that make?

51. iushnt

Posts: 3052; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

When using Note 9 and S10 plus together, S10 plus feels a lot futuristic and elegant due to bigger screen on smaller foot print. That’s the difference.

4. Rocket

Posts: 614; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Agree, the laser cutout is ok but OEMS like Samsung and/or Sony need to start making/inventing smaller selfie cameras bcs current cutouts are a little too big, my 2 cents.

21. Fred3

Posts: 325; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Once you have the phone, you barley notice it's there

35. JMartin22

Posts: 2325; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

How’s it different from a thick or elongated notch cutting into the display estate?

5. vgking9699

Posts: 85; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Looks like the pixel 3 xl had a baby with a galaxy s10 lol Google can’t even come up with their own designs

15. Georgio

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

You don't have a clue about tech. Google buys those displays from Samsung. Also Google had two front facing camera before Samsung. God...

6. karamabikaram

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 01, 2016

I will go for pixel when included an sd card

8. Well-Manicured-Man

Posts: 653; Member since: Jun 16, 2015

Forget the idea of SD cards in Pixel phones. Google wants you to upload all ur images and files to Google cloud services to learn more about you.

38. Sammy_DEVIL737

Posts: 1504; Member since: Nov 28, 2016

“..... ur images and files to Google cloud services to learn more about you.“ :- Well-iDiot-Man

16. monoke

Posts: 1126; Member since: Mar 14, 2015

That'll be the day when pigs fly!

10. Wazupmrg

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

"the next Pixel devices might take inspiration from the "punch-hole" design of the Galaxy S10 series." You mean copy? That's exactly what wording you would use if Samsung did that to an Apple idea. Tisk Tisk Tisk, silly biased writers, we see through all this

13. Georgio

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Copy what? Google buys those displays from Samsung. Also Google had two front facing camera before Samsung. Go to sleep.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.