Google has released an officialafter in the week before. The image, tweeted from the company's Made By Google Twitter account -- for now --, all but confirms the . In addition, the company released , out of a planned total of six, for last week. Given all these recent events -- including , we now have a better understanding of Google's next flagship and what its mobile operating system will be capable of.
The success of the Pixel 4 would be crucial for Google. The Pixel 3 and 3 XLdespite their exceptional cameras and critical acclaim. This could be because the phones are (though they work on other US carriers), plus the fact that people in general . The phones are also expensive, which Google hoped to address by launching the midrange and in May. There's been too (but we at CNET haven't experienced them personally), and the company just settled that will pay out $500 each to owners of the .
Google would need to solve all these issues with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL if it wants to increase sales. Though they are months away from their release, the Pixel 4 will serve as Google's ultimate take on its mobile OS, which is also the, and must stand out, not only from the Apple iPhone but other Android rivals like Samsung.
In the meantime, read on to see what has been speculated so far and check back as we update this piece with interesting rumors as they arise.
Confirmed: The Pixel 4 exists, has square camera setup
As mentioned above, the Pixel 4 is a real phone -- none other than Google announced that it's coming. Not only did the company confirm the name, but it included an image, which depicts multiple rear cameras encased in a square housing.
There was another, less official instance when Google confirmed the existence of the phone in April, when a Google employee commented on Google's Android Open Source Project. Buried in a thread about Google's memory error detection tool, and spotted first by 9to5Google, the employee references the Pixel 4 twice:
In the comment, the poster writes, "The plan was to first deploy this on Pixel 3 and make sure that everything actually works. Then move on to Pixel 4 and so on. If I had a Pixel 4 device..." Though the thread doesn't go on to reveal anything else about the phone, at least we learned that it's called the Pixel 4 and that it's on its way.
Likely: We'll see it in October
This isn't based on any specific rumor, but since the smart home endeavors) in October.launch in 2016, Google has released its flagship in October. The pattern usually goes like this: Google holds its in May to go over the latest Android OS and software updates. Then in October, it has another presser that highlights Google's hardware developments and it introduces a new flagship running the Android version previewed in May. There have been curve balls -- for instance, this year Google unveiled the Pixel 3A and Pixel 3A XL in May. But that still puts us on track to see the Pixel 4 (and maybe Google's
Likely: Pixel 4 will run Android Q
Like with past Pixel phones, the Pixel 4 line will be one of the first -- if not the first -- phones to run Android's latest OS. Because Google OS names are alphabetical, the upcoming update is temporarily known as Android Q before its official name launches. Although it's not out yet, Android Q will reportedly have a , new permissions features, improved and enhanced security.
Rumor: Pixel 4 could be bezel-less, with hole-punch screen
Known product-leaker SlashLeaks posted a rendering of the Pixel 4 from case-maker Skinomi showing the phone with a hole-punch screen and two front-facing cameras (similar to the ). As a reminder, the Pixel 3 has two front-facing cameras, one of which is a wide-angle lens. The image of Pixel 4 also shows that it doesn't have any bezels, so the thick borders the previous Pixel phones have are done away with. Apparently, Skinomi is so sure that this will be the design of the phone that you can already order screen protectors and cases for the Pixel 4 right now on its site.
Rumor: Pixel 4 XL could have 2 back cameras, 4 total
While previous Pixel XLs launched with just a single camera on the back, leaked photos posted on (once again) SlashLeaks indicate that the . Google has typically relied on its to do things (like taking portrait photos) that other phones require multiple rear cameras to accomplish, so it's interesting that Google may possibly add another. The same leaked photos also show the phone with the aforementioned hole-punch display.
Rumor: Pixel 4 might have improved dual-SIM capabilities
The Pixel 4 may have a feature that would allow a user Pixel 2 XL and 3 XL). Those phones have a standard SIM card slot and an eSIM. While you could have two numbers provisioned for the device, you could only talk, text or use data on one line, while the other remained inactive. In other words, only one SIM could be activated at a time.. This is an update from the previous and Pixel 3 (and their larger counterparts the
But the Pixel 4 would be able to have two active SIMs. If either is being used to make a call or text, however, the other line won't be able to take calls or text for the time being. This is similar to how phones operate.and other Android
Originally published March 8, 2019
Update, May 26: Adds info about Pixel class-action lawsuit.
Update, June 6: Adds Google employee confirmation and Skinomi renders.
Update, June 12: Adds Google first look info.