Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

The hottest new features coming to Google’s Pixel 4 just leaked

Published Jul 8th, 2019 7:31AM EDT

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

The Pixel 4 rear design is no longer a secret, as Google surprised fans with a teaser image (above) after leaks have revealed said design. We know the phone will look a lot like the iPhone 11, which also leaked well before the Pixel 4, sporting a multi-lens camera on the back inside a square module placed in the top left corner. Furthermore, there’s no fingerprint sensor on the back. If there is one, it must be placed under the screen. Either that or the Pixel 4 will support 3D face recognition like the iPhone X phones. Google didn’t reveal anything else about the phone, which should be unveiled at some point in October. But a brand new leak seemingly confirms the signature features of the Pixel 4.

Some Android users who are testing Android Q beta received Beta 5 early. That’s a mistake, so if you don’t have access to it, it’s because you’re not supposed to. The release packs a new Google Camera app version, 6.3, which contains revealing details about the Pixel 4 front and rear camera arrays.

Since the first generation Pixel, Google insisted on the camera features of the handset, which were refined with each new generation. The Pixel 4 will not be an exception, and the selfie and rear cameras will be the signature features of the device.

Last year, Google decided to stick with a single-lens camera on the rear of the phone for the Pixel 3, in spite of what the competition was doing. The selfie camera, meanwhile, got two camera sensors for the first time. The Pixel 4 will have at least two cameras on the back, Google’s teaser revealed. But Google Camera 6.3 seems to confirm that, while simultaneously showing the front camera will include components that make 3D face recognition possible.

Digging through the app’s code, xda-developers found explicit mentions of the new cameras:

The list of sensor IDs includes a “front IR” sensor, a “front regular” sensor, a “front wide” sensor, a “rear regular” sensor, and a “rear telephoto” sensor. There are also “front logical” and “rear logical” sensors, but “logical” most likely refers to a “logical camera device composed of two or more physical camera devices pointing in the same direction” per Android 9 Pie’s multi-camera API. The Google Pixel 3 has dual front cameras (one “regular” main lens and one wide-angle lens) and a single rear camera, so the only two IDs out of the ordinary in this list are the “front IR” sensor and the “rear telephoto” sensor.

The report notes that the IR sensor probably stands for infrared, although xda is unsure as to why the sensor would appear in the camera app. The reason is quite simple. The sensors that make Face ID possible on the iPhone are also used to measure depth in selfie portraits. The same thing will likely apply to the Pixel 4’s selfie camera.

The rear telephoto lens, meanwhile, will help with zooming, although the Pixel 4 won’t deliver the same experience as some of its rivals, including the Huawei P30 Pro and the Oppo Reno, which have a brand new type of camera on board, of the periscope variety, to enhance optical zoom. Recent reports, including a leak that showed us a Pixel 4 prototype in the wild, did say that the Pixel 4’s front side will include sensors that will make Face ID work on the handset — Google will obviously call it something else.

Finally, the leaked code indicates that Google is also cooking up some improvements for the Night Sight feature of the camera, which is already a major highlight of the Pixel 3 camera experience.

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 brings his entertainment expertise to 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.