Google Pixel 4: Here's what reportedly went on behind the scenes

Google Pixel 4: Here's what reportedly went on behind the scenes
Google Pixel 4 concept render

Yesterday’s Pixel 4 announcement was not only surprising but also rather contradictory. For months, leaks and rumors pointed towards a totally different design, but within the space of three days, everything was proven to be wrong.

Ultimately, the latest developments have left many questioning the legitimacy of previous leaks. Thanks to YouTuber Jon Prosser from Front Page Tech, though, we now have a pretty clear idea of what went on behind the scenes at Google and, more importantly, what led to all of those seemingly-inaccurate leaks.

The Pixel 4 with a punch hole display was real!


Speaking to a source within Google’s hardware team – that’s the company’s own team, not the acquired HTC team – Prosser was able to confirm that there were, as previously rumored, a total of three separate teams working on Pixel 4 prototypes. Google reportedly implemented this strategy for two primary reasons; the first being an attempt to avoid unpopular designs like the notch found on last year’s Pixel 3 XL, and the second being a bid to avoid so many leaks – the Pixel 3 XL quickly became one of the most leaked smartphones in history.

According to the source, the earliest Pixel 4 prototype to be turned in to Google looked just as the leaks described. Prosser himself claims to have seen one of them and says that it featured a punch hole display like the Galaxy S10, a horizontal dual-camera setup on the rear, no physical buttons, and an in-screen fingerprint scanner.

The first prototype Google saw looked like this

The first prototype Google saw looked like this

Presumably, only a matter of weeks went by between the first and third prototypes being shown off to Google internally. Nevertheless, this was sufficient for bits of information regarding the first prototype to leak out, hence all of the reports last month.

There's a different Pixel 4 prototype nobody's seen


The third and final prototype Google was presented with coincides with the smartphone that leaked out earlier this week and the design that was subsequently confirmed yesterday. As the official renders show, this one does have physical buttons and replaces the horizontal camera layout with a rather large square-shaped module.

Regarding the front design of the device, Prosser corroborates recent leaks which indicated the presence of a large ‘forehead’ above the display rather than a notch. He also states that recent concept renders are pretty accurate. If rumors are to be believed, the upper bezel will house the front-facing cameras and potentially a Face ID alternative, the latter of which is expected to replace the fingerprint scanner entirely.

Google Pixel 4: Here's what reportedly went on behind the scenes
These Pixel 4 renders are pretty accurate

As you may have noticed, we skipped the second prototype. That’s because Prosser hasn’t yet seen it and, from the look of things, neither has anybody else outside of Google. It’s unclear at this point what kind of design it has, but considering it was developed by a separate team, a totally different look should be expected.

What happens next for Google?


According to the information Prosser received, none of the prototypes have actually been finalized and approved for production yet. This technically means that any of the three could still be released later this year. But considering the tweet that was sent out less than 24 hours ago, it seems as though Google has made a preliminary decision and selected the third prototype that was shown.

Production probably won’t kick off until mid or later summer in time for a launch this October shortly after the company’s hardware event. In the meantime, it’s reported that the hardware team will be working closely with Google’s marketing people in order to avoid any misleading information. Yesterday’s tweet can probably be taken as an example of this. Typically company’s pretend leaks haven’t happened but this year Google has chosen to take control of the situation immediately.

The chosen Pixel 4 design

The chosen Pixel 4 design

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36 Comments

1. mohsin845

Posts: 30; Member since: Apr 05, 2014

Nice Design...It's wiould be absolutely fantastic

11. Bankz

Posts: 2491; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

That Prosser guy knows nothing to be quite honest. There's no way a design wouldn't have been finalized by now and secondly, there's no new information whatsoever in today's episode that we didn't already know before by onleaks and unbox therapy. If he actually saw prototypes, then why isn't he actually leaking them? He waits for something to get leaked by a credible source and then comes out to say oh yeah, I already knew/saw it before now.. but we all know that thats all bulls**t tbh.. First he talked about how Google Had another pixel 3 in the works and were only trying to deceive us which was wrong 2. He said the pixel 4's design was the previous design we all thought would come out, which is still wrong. 3. He said the pixel 4 would Be bottonless which is wrong according to the tender by Google themselves 4. He said that Google has different teams working on the pixel, which is pretty much standard knowledge at this point. 5 he only waited till the credible onleaks leaked the pixel 4 and then said oh yeah, this is it, he's 99% correct (just in case onleaks made a mistake) to be on the safe side. 6 he waited till unbox therapy told us of the forehead and then comes out to say oh yeah, here you go guys, it has a forehead. 7. He told us some months ago that the pixel will have an under display fps and now it's looking very very unlikely.. THAT GUY IS A FRAUD tbh.. he is never says anything till a credible source says it then he acts as an echo chamber to say he knew all along. Don't fall for him!!!!

12. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 01, 2017

The fact that you use that specific YouTube channel as your source for information says a lot about you.....

14. Bankz

Posts: 2491; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Did you even read my post? So I'm not allowed to follow any channel of my choice? And If it were my to-go source for information then why I'm I telling people to steer away from him? As if your being here in this particular article isn't because of the same guy lmao.. following one news channel doesn't stop you from following other ones, or didn't you see me mention onleaks and unbox therapy in my post? Even the phonearena you follow everyday also follows he's channel otherwise why would you be here this very minute if they didn't get info from that channel? (Even enough to make you comment) Sometimes it's better to just STFU

15. joshuaswingle

Posts: 489; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

"If he actually saw prototypes, then why isn't he actually leaking them?" That's like asking Onleaks to publish the CAD files his renders are based on. You've got to protect sources. 1. I assume you are talking about the Pixel Ultra. If that's the case, that was just a theory of his based on the sketches found in Android's UI. He never said it was based on inside information. He did, however, reveal that Google was working on mid-range smartphones way back in September. 2, 3 & 7. He said that it was the design because it was the only prototype Google seemed to be looking into at the time. As mentioned in this article, those prototypes were buttonless and include in-display fingerprint scanners. 5 & 6. As you probably know, the Front Page Tech channel took a nine day break recently which ended today due to deaths in the video editor's family. He wasn't purposely waiting for OnLeaks and Unbox Therapy to post their leaks. Also, on a side note, Onleaks (who seems to have a pretty good relationship with Jon) has tweeted out his video from today. He wouldn't do that unless he knew Jon's sources were reliable – he hates fake leaks/information.https://twitter.com/OnLeaks/status/1139187474075475970

20. Bankz

Posts: 2491; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Alright. Fair enough it's just that I believe that this was all convenient timing for him. I mean, if he knew about this design all along like he says then why didn't he just tweet about it before the channel came back on? All in all, exciting times ahead for the pixel.. I'm ready.

22. joshuaswingle

Posts: 489; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

I assume that's because he needs people to view his videos. They are probably his main source of income. But I agree, very exciting times for Pixel. I can't wait to see what they bring to the table, especially in the camera department!

30. jonprosser

Posts: 1; Member since: 4 days ago

Hey! Jon, here! I did tweet it before Google tweeted their official render. :)

18. baldilocks

Posts: 1453; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

Except it looks like it's upside down. The larger bezel should be on the bottom, not the top.

28. kiko007

Posts: 7491; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I disagree. I prefer it at the top rather than the bottom. It's a personal preference thing.

33. Vancetastic

Posts: 812; Member since: May 17, 2017

Personal preference? Is that allowed here?

31. Mike88

Posts: 123; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

Once again it'll be the ugliest phone of the year

2. TBomb

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

The first iage at the top... I can dig the forehead size. Anything smaller than the P2XL and I'm happy.

3. suhas2000

Posts: 25; Member since: Jul 24, 2008

As long as they keep the front firing speakers

6. User123456789

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

With this design is impossible. Bezel you see on S9 for example is too small already for speaker. USB takes a lot of the space there.

35. Reviewerofstuff

Posts: 117; Member since: Jun 02, 2018

It will still have stereo speakers and i honestly think front firing speakers are overrated.

4. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 01, 2017

I thought about skipping the Pixel 4 because it didn't seem like much of an upgrade from the 3 judging from previous leaks. Now, I'm back on board. I'm excited to see how Google uses Project Soli into the device. That's innovation right there, not some stupid pop up camera....those who choose a device based on looking pretty over functionality, at heart are little high school girls looking for something to match their sundress....

13. Bankz

Posts: 2491; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Exactly.. the pop up slefie thing makes the phone look like a clown tbh.. never thought OnePlus would have degenerated to that level. Anyway, as for the pixel 4, there's nothing as beautiful as having the absolute best camera, the absolute best facial recognition, innovative OS input, the absolute best assistant, software updates, IP rating, wireless charging, dual FF speakers, no ugly display holes, no curved display and clean Android..

21. BuffaloSouce

Posts: 1225; Member since: May 01, 2017

Sadly, Samsung is starting to fall into that gimmicky territory to. Rotating camera and edged screens are not innovative. They're convenient but not innovative. Under display camera is where the next move should be. They also missed out on enhancing they're sound quality to the level of LG by not using Harmon Kardon on their devices except for branching out another company just to make janky headphones and earbuds

5. User123456789

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Bezel must be similar to S9 and PA calls it large .....

9. Alex_12

Posts: 41; Member since: May 30, 2018

It's not large on S9 and also looks like the next Pixel won't have buttom bezels, which is in my opinion a perfect design considering the current technology capabilities.

10. joshuaswingle

Posts: 489; Member since: Apr 03, 2018

By 2019 flagship standards the upper bezel (if as shown in the concept renders) is kinda large. Doesn't mean it's a bad design though. I personally quite like it and if they're going to fill it with lots of tech then even better!

32. Mike88

Posts: 123; Member since: Mar 05, 2019

They had chosen this design already after iPhone 11 leaks and the only reason they confirmed it via tweet is because they don't want to look like a total copy cat when they'll be releasing it after iPhone so they decided to officially announce that they are copying an unreleased product so people shouldn't go mad about it later

7. User123456789

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

They realized the ugly hole was offensive then decided to not use it. Well done Google.

8. kplayon

Posts: 34; Member since: Mar 02, 2018

I prefer the first prototype but I guess that's not happening,

16. thefantasticspastic

Posts: 11; Member since: May 27, 2019

Not sure if it's exaggerated but wouldn't no bottom bezel be impossible with an Android phone since the only way to minimize it further is to fold the OLED panel under itself, a technique that Apple patented?

25. User123456789

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Sharp Crystal has 1 bezel. Xiaomi Mi Mox 1 had 1 bezel. Xperia 10 has one bezel. All they need is to make screen upside down, so connectors go to top

17. baldilocks

Posts: 1453; Member since: Dec 14, 2008

That giant forehead just makes it look like a top heavy Neanderthal.

26. User123456789

Posts: 566; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

6mm os giant?

19. Dadler22

Posts: 233; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I know im the minority here but im glad they kept bezels, I dont use cases and the bezel less phones such as the s10e would get so many corner presses from me holding the phone in landscape mode

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