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New leak tells us the real reason the Pixel 4 has a huge bezel

Published Jul 22nd, 2019 7:31AM EDT

When the Pixel 3 launched last fall, we witnessed the ugliest notch design so far. Not only did Google joined a growing list of Android vendors that cloned the iPhone X’s design, but it did a terrible job at it. The Pixel 3 XL featured a colossal notch, compared to everything else out there, as well as significant chin — the Pixel 3, meanwhile, featured symmetrical top and bottom bezels. Google won’t repeat the same design mistake with the Pixel 4, although the phone isn’t what you’d call pretty, not by 2019 standards in any case. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will not have notches whatsoever, a series of leaks have told us. But a brand new one indicates that the real reason why Google will employ a regular bezel at the top of the phone is a lot more important than visual considerations.

Prominent leaker Ice Universe posted on Twitter the following purported screen protector designs for the Pixel 4.

If these designs are based on Google’s actual Pixel 4 design, we’re looking at a top bezel that’s quite busy.

From left to right, we have openings for the phone’s dual cameras and sensors that will enable 3D face recognition on the Pixel 4; the top speaker; and a mysterious pill-shaped opening. That opening will probably house the Project Soli radar sensors that Google plans to introduce with the Pixel 4 that will allow new gesture-based controls on the phone

Here’s what the iPhone X/XS/XR notch looks like by comparison, a notch design that Apple will continue to use for the iPhone 11 series this year:

Image source: Apple Inc.

Even if Google wanted a notch design for the Pixel 4, there’s just no room in that bezel for more screen real estate.

A different leaker, meanwhile, posted more Pixel 4 renders in partnership with iGeeksBlog that show the Pixel 4’s front and rear design.

Google already confirmed the design of the Pixel 4 a few weeks ago, when it released renders of the phone online after a similar series of leaks. We then saw that design out in the wild a few times, although the screen remained hidden from view in some occasions. One of the newest leaks, however, also indicate the Pixel 4 won’t have a notch at the top:

Image source: Slashleaks

The new renders show the same asymmetric Pixel 4 screen design as the screen protectors, without actually revealing the purpose of the openings at the top.

The Pixel 4 launches in mid-October, but we’ll learn everything about it well before it hits stores.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.