So, Google unveiled the Pixel 4 on Wednesday. Sort of. After someone posted renders of the unreleased Pixel 4 based on design files that were stolen from the factory where Google’s new Pixel phones will be manufactured, Google decided to dispel some of the uncertainty by posting an image of the back of the new phone. You can see the official Pixel 4 image Google shared at the top of this post. It was a bizarre move on Google’s part, to say the least.
The company should know by now that only a tiny percentage of consumers follow smartphone leaks and rumors. Now that Google has officially confirmed that the upcoming Pixel 4 will have a massive camera upgrade, why would anyone buy a new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL? After all, camera performance is one of the only reasons to buy a Pixel phone over more popular smartphones like a Samsung Galaxy phone or an iPhone. Perhaps Pixel 3 sales have been so slow lately that Google felt it wouldn’t matter to let people know they shouldn’t buy them anymore. Whatever the logic (or lack thereof), what’s done is done and we now know exactly what the Pixel 4 will look like when it hits store shelves later this year. Well, we know exactly what the back of the Pixel 4 will look like, at least.
The front of Google’s upcoming new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL is still something of a mystery. Early rumors said that the Pixel 4 would use a hole-punch display like the ones on Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series phones, but the renders we saw that were based on actual Pixel 4 design files swiped off of a factory server didn’t show any holes in the phone’s display. In fact, they didn’t show the display at all, likely because there was no reference to it in the factory files. Instead, all we see is an ear speaker near the top of the phone.
The positioning of that ear speaker seems to indicate that there will still be a bezel above the Pixel 4’s display, and it’ll be a rather large one by today’s standards. But you don’t have to just picture it in your mind anymore, because graphic designer Jonas Daehnert has created a series of renders that likely give us our best look yet at what the Pixel 4 will really look like when it’s released in the coming months. He posted the new renders in a series of two tweets:
Here’s a closer look at the new Pixel 4 renders:
We know that the Pixel 4 isn’t going to have a red power button like the one in Daehnert’s renders since it has a plain old silver power button in the image Google posted. In fact, it pretty much just looks like a lower quality iPhone 11. Apple’s upcoming new iPhone has a similar square camera bump, but the entire back is a single piece of glass, including the camera bump. Meanwhile, Google appears to have a big metal piece poking through the back plate on its Pixel 4 for the camera module. Also, we know Apple’s flagship iPhones are made out of glass and stainless steel, while the Pixel 4 will likely be aluminum.
In any case, the good news is even with its big bezels, this is still the most modern smartphone design Google has ever used on a Pixel phone. It’s still an iPhone copycat, sure, but that’s nothing new. Remember the first Pixel phone that was designed by HTC? It was literally just an iPhone 6 with a glass plate slapped on the back.
Despite this bizarre early reveal, Google is still expected to release the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones sometime this fall.