Google allegedly had 4K 60 FPS ready to go on the Pixel 4, then removed it

Google allegedly had 4K 60 FPS ready to go on the Pixel 4, then removed it
Google’s Pixel phones have been atop the hill when it comes to smartphone photography for a couple of years now. The HDR+ and Google’s wizardry with computational photography manage to produce amazing pictures, with sharp details, accurate colors, and beautiful exposure.

But when it comes to video, the Pixels have always lagged just a bit behind the competition. And, very notably, the Pixel 4 series does not offer 4K at 60 FPS video recording. That’s something that has been available for more than a couple of years on competitor phones. When asked why it continues to skip the feature, Google had this to say:

   
 OK, that’s kind of a fair point. Admittedly, the users that would record video at 4K 60 FPS are not that many. Not only are the files super-huge, but the “soap opera effect” of 60 FPS is also often undesirable. One would pick the high framerate if they intend to slow it down to 50% for some epic cinematic B-roll in post production, but that’s still a niche use. So OK, Google, we are following that logic — focus your time and resources on developing the super awesome photography that you do.

Oh, but wait! It seems Google did focus its energy into developing 4K 60 FPS before releasing the Pixel 4. Then, just before the phone was launched, the feature was removed. At least that’s what the tech gurus over at XDA Developers have found by digging through lines of source code that never graces the end user’s eyes.

 
 Well… that’s awkward. So, what was the reason for Google to pull the mode after all?

Tech pundits speculate the reason is because the Pixel 4 phones’ storage options are not that great. The entry-level models only offer 64 GB of room and the more expensive tiers top out at 128 GB. That’s a laughable amount of storage, especially on a flagship phone in 2019. 4K at 60 FPS would eat that up in a heartbeat, which is why fans believe the feature was sacked.

And why did Google put such limiting storage options on its newest phones? Tinfoil hats on — many believe it’s because the search giant wants to push its paid cloud storage on its users. But we’ll have to open that can of worms another time.

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

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16 Comments

3. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

I'm completely baffled as a Pixel knight that everyone that's doesn't want a pixel says I'm going iPhone as if the Samsung, one plus and other Android OEM's don't exist. Go ahead and just say you use iPhones and want one. Saying I'm a pixel fan and saying buying an iPhone doesn't make you have a point. 4k 60fps can be turned back on. Y'all look for every problem just to keep complaining. Toxic tech world out here. Pixel knights rise up!

18. AlienKiss

Posts: 241; Member since: May 21, 2019

NO SD card slot = NOT interested! Only Samsung or Sony for me. I'd rather wait a few months for updates (in case of Samsung) and be perfectly happy without having a phone full of bugs, glitches and like I said before, no SD card slot. Also, the pixels are possibly the ugliest phones out there. I wouldn't buy one if it was 50% off.. And if I'd receive it as a gift, I'd sell it the very same day or regift it.

4. bucknassty

Posts: 1365; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

snap dragon 855

7. sgodsell

Posts: 7514; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The SD 855 easily handles 4k 60 fps. It's on other smartphones that support 4k 60.

10. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Snapdragon 845 has 4K60. It is up to OEM to offer you the option. Same way SD845 and 855 offer 4K HDR, but only Sony, Samsung and LG use.

5. TBomb

Posts: 1632; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Unpopular Opinion Alert: Leaving 4K 60FPS out doesn't really bother me... in the slightest. I can't remember the last time I was like, "Darn it all! I wish I had 4K 60FPS to shoot this video because the other option just doesn't cut it for me!!" I do agree, if the ability is there, they should at least offer it. I wouldn't use it, but it appears that there is a group of people that would. My question to those people: What do YOU shoot videos of where YOU need the feature? Don't give me general purposes. I want to know what YOU use it for.

13. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

It may be unpopular, but I agree with you. If I wanted to shoot super high quality video, I wouldn't be using a phone for it.

16. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1339; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Very true. If you need that feature then you're using a far more expensive, dedicated video camera.

17. Sam1ne

Posts: 51; Member since: Apr 07, 2019

OMG this question is beyond me.. Here's the answer, lol. I use it to SHOOT 4K60FPS VIDEOS BECAUSE THEY LOOK BETTER. FAR, FAR BETTER. But what would you know, you obviously doesn't even know how a 60fps 4K looks like.

6. koioz

Posts: 177; Member since: Nov 29, 2018

Humans: Wants the best camera but applies filter on photo for social media. Martians: "ckuf ad taw, demood si yaw yklim" According to area51 scienctist, martian writes backward.

8. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Pixel photos and accurate colours? Must be on Earth 2 or another from multiverse. Excess of contrast make blacks look pure black even on LCD screens. Not counting previous pixels with cold green tones.

9. wabajak13

Posts: 57; Member since: Jan 02, 2018

Every day I am more and more happy with my S9. 4K 60fps plus HEVC and a 256gb SD card.....can shoot for days

11. User123456789

Posts: 1084; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Capped at 5 minutes, because Samsung waited until s10 to remove stupid limit. Something that should have been done since s7.

12. Locked-n-Loaded

Posts: 38; Member since: Sep 13, 2019

They can try to package this in a nice way anyway they want, but the simple fact is they have a pathetic battery size and a ridiculous amount of onboard storage which is why this phone is a fail before it even started

14. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

That approach didn't hurt Apple for years....

15. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1339; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Wanting to push for storage resulted in lack of built in storage and removal of 4K6fps. However, cloud storage is not entirely feasible when you have a monthly data cap.

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