The Pixel 4 Motion Sense hands-free feature will initially support nine streaming content apps

The Pixel 4 Motion Sense hands-free feature will initially support nine streaming content apps
Google has already confirmed that the upcoming Pixel 4 series will have a new feature called Motion Sense that employs the company's radar-based Soli chips. A video released by the company in July showed how a wave of the hand will allow users to "skip songs" when listening to a streaming music service. In fact, Google wrote in an accompanying blog post that Motion Sense will "skip songs, snooze alarms, and silence phone calls." Google also hints that Motion Sense will gain new capabilities over time and will only be available in certain markets.

While Google hasn't revealed exactly which streaming apps will work with Motion Sense, this information was discovered by Nextrift. The latter has had in its possession a pre-production Pixel 4 XL running pre-release software and has been the source of some of the latest details pertaining to the model. Google 9to5 obtained from Nextrift a copy of the Motion Sense app and published a list of nine applications that support it. Whether this means that each of the nine merely works with Motion Sense or offers more gesture-based features than your run-of-the-mill streaming app is unknown. The list includes:

  • Amazon Music
  • Deezer
  • Google Play Music
  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • Spotify Stations
  • YouTube Music
  • YouTube
We will have to wait until the new phones are introduced during the Made by Google event on October 15th to find out more about Motion Sense. LG offers a similar feature on the LG G8 ThinQ called Air Motion; this uses 3D sensing in combination with hand gestures to answer calls, access certain functions, control the phone's volume, manage alarms and timers and more without having the user touch the device.

Ambient EQ automatically adjusts the display's white balance based on ambient lighting

Meanwhile, the Pixel 4 line will apparently offer just one biometric security feature, and it's not a fingerprint scanner. The more secure Face unlock will use 3D mapping to unlock the phone with a look and can be used to verify mobile payments through Google Pay. Unless Google fine-tunes the software, users will have to pick up the phone and look right at the sensors in order to unlock the handset. Apple was able to improve Face ID with the iPhone 11 series so that it will work when users look down at the phone when it is placed on a desk.

Both new Pixels will be powered by the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform, not the newer "plus" variant of the chip that not only features overclocked CPUs but also enhances the performance of the Adreno 640 graphics processor by 15%. And some are also bummed over the apparent use of the UFS 2.1 flash storage system instead of the faster UFS 3.0 being used on all of OnePlus' 2019 phones, and the Galaxy Note 10 line. Because these phones transfer data faster, they boot up faster and more importantly, they open apps faster.

The 5.7-inch AMOLED display on the Pixel 4 and the 6.23-inch AMOLED display on the Pixel 4 XL will both refresh at a 90Hz rate. That is 50% faster than the speeds seen on traditional handsets and helps deliver a buttery smooth scrolling experience and smoother mobile video gameplay. In addition, the two panels will also have a new feature called Ambient EQ. Similar to Apple's True Tone technology, Ambient EQ will automatically adjust the white balance of the Pixel screen based on ambient lighting.

Both new Pixels will add a 16MP telephoto camera (but no Ultra-wide) to the 12.2MP primary in the back. The front-facing selfie camera weighs in at 8.1MP and we should see a 2800mAh capacity battery inside the smaller unit with a 3700mAh battery keeping the Pixel 4 XL's lights on. It appears that Google will offer the phones in three colors: Just Black, Clearly White and Oh so Orange.

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2800 mAh
Pixel 4 XL
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh



1. TBomb

Posts: 1568; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

give it time. I'm sure it will be opened up to more devs. Its just a matter of if the devs take advantage of the tech

3. umaru-chan

Posts: 371; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

The biggest bummer is not having ufs 3.0 but housing a almost 2 years old camera sensor as primary sensor. Even cheapest Xiaomi phone ( red mi 8a) will share the same sensor with pixel 4. What a joke. No matter how good the software become they should at least try to invest in new hardware.

7. Yelis63103

Posts: 5; Member since: Dec 30, 2013


4. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2248; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

This is just another attempt to find something new rather than useful to the Android audience just to sell phones. Google can’t sell no more than 5-6 million Pixels a year. Their phones carry no appeal to capture their own Android mass. Why is that? Without Android manufacturers, Google as as an advertising firm can’t even market their own products. They rely on other manufacturers to sell their tools And services for them.

5. TBomb

Posts: 1568; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

So Google's sensors on top of the front of the phone are useless, but the sensors for FaceID on iPhone are useful? I've stated my opinion before: the Pixel is not Google's attempt to steal marketshare from anyone. Google is not trying to become the biggest OEM. The Pixel is to prod the other OEMs in the right direction both from a support and technology perspective, to help bring new technology into the spotlight, to show what is possible with Android. If Google REALLY cared about selling Pixels like hotcakes, they would try harder to make them more appealing.

6. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2248; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

FaceID is very useful. In fact, its the most widely used encryption and protection on a smartphone. FaceID has tons of mass appeal. Based on your statement it makes no sense. As a business it makes no sense create a phone to showcase rather than sell. That's called overhead/losses, in which is no good for long term business. Google's issue is the ability to do it themselves, like Apple did back in 2007. No need to rely on manufacturing partners to distribute their products and services as Google has the R&D Team, Marketing Team, Development Team to do it. Google is and was financially backed to become an iOS, but it never played out that way for themselves.

13. TBomb

Posts: 1568; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Soli is goingto be used for the same exact purposes as Face ID.... so how is one useful and one isn't? Also, a business' business model dictates whether or not a phone should be sold for what purpose. Google doesn't make money from hardware. They make money from advertising. The way they get advertising revenue is from people using their services. Their business model is ti be very open and allow 3rd parties ot use their software/OS so Google can reach a broader audience. As you said, Google has the R&D, Marketing, and Development team to do it, so why wouldn't they? My guess is that it is because they realized that the hardware game is a losing battle, and it would be easier to provide the world with software for their hardware than to fight the battle on their own. Imagine the landscape if Google, Apple, LG, and Samsung, and every other OEM had their own OS for devs to support... how do you expect that to work?

8. johnh3

Posts: 144; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

I think the launch timing is wrong for the Pixel phones. They should be launched in the spring when Qualcomm releases new processors. Now it will be the last brand with Snapdragon 855. Long way after Samsung, Sony, OnePlus and other OEM,s with that chip. So in that aspect they have a hard time to be a major player in the smartphone business.

11. Derekjeter

Posts: 1526; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

These phones are dead even before they are announced. They will carry high price tags and won’t even have the best hardware. Like the article says One plus has it all. Huawei and One plus is ahead of everyone at this point, 10 years ahead of Apple that’s for sure.

12. Georgio

Posts: 258; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

Only in your wold !! In the real world, Apple is years ahead of android.

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