Google’s Pixel 4 ships October 24, starting at $799 – TechCrunch
The rumors and leaks have been pretty relentless. In fact, over the past three days, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have gone up for pre-order on at least two different sites. While it’s true that Google’s never been particularly great at keeping this stuff under wraps, this was pretty silly.
Anyway, the Pixel 4 is finally official, and it’s basically exactly what we were expecting from this year’s Google flagship. The device now features face unlock, another addition that brings Pixels in line with the competition, though Google claims it’s the fastest available. Using a new radar chip, the device is able to start the unlock when you reach for the phone and then fully unlock when it sees your face.
Radar also gives the device gesture recognition, via Motion Sense. The concept is similar to what you’ll find on other Android handsets, but it’s significantly more sophisticated, distinguishing accidental gestures from intentional ones. Using these, this can do things like skipping songs, turn the screen on and wave to your animated Pikachu wallpaper (actual example). All of the processing is done on-device and users can turn it off for privacy.
The 4 maintains the familiar Active Edge squeeze, which launches a newly upgraded Google Assistant. As rumored, there’s a new recording app, which is capable of transcribing conversations in real time. From the demo, at least, the feature is pretty impressive, with a more accurate transcript than I’ve seen from most AI software. Interestingly, it all works on-device, meaning that you can use it in airplane mode — and conversations aren’t automatically uploaded to the cloud.
The company is finally embracing a multi-camera setup on the back of the device. Google had been one of the few holdouts on that front, instead insisting that its AI/ML was perfectly capable of producing shots as good as any multi-camera setup.
And while it’s true Google’s managed to get a pretty solid camera with this combo, the Pixel 4 gets a pair of cameras on the back, in the iPhone 11-esque square camera array….