Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

What the unexpected Pixel 4 teaser tells us about the fourth-gen Google flagship phone

Published Jun 13th, 2019 6:50AM EDT

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

We’ve been bombarded with Pixel 4 rumors for the past few days now, but nobody could have seen coming what Google did on Wednesday. The company went to social media to post actual images of the Pixel 4 several months in advance of the phone’s arrival. That’s an incredibly bold move from Google, and it’s also terribly exciting for fans planning to purchase Pixel hardware — on that note, there’s absolutely no reason even to consider going for either the Pixel 3 or Pixel 3a phones at this time.

While Google only shared images featuring the Pixel 4’s rear, revealing nothing else about the phone, the image the company released delivers plenty of tidbits about the upcoming handset. And that’s because we already have access to a bunch of rumors that Google seemingly confirmed with its teaser.

Google only showed us the rear of the phone, and, as you can see in the original, it decided not to feature the full handset in the image. But it’s not like fans couldn’t piece it together, as seen in the top render.

The photo Google provided is enough to deliver a couple of interesting details. First of all, the Pixel’s annoying rear design, that used to feature a combination of glass and metal or glossy and matte glass is gone. Yes, that used to be an original Pixel design element, but it didn’t look right. On the Pixel 4 we get a uniform rear panel, probably made of glass, that features only two noticeable elements, the Google logo on the back and the square camera module.

This brings us to the second piece of information that we can glean from the photo. There’s no fingerprint sensor on the back. That can only mean the sensor is either embedded in the screen or there’s no sensor on the phone. A recent leak claimed that the Pixel 4 will go for 3D face authentication like the iPhone X and its successors, and we do know that Android Q will support 3D face recognition natively.

The render also tells us that the Pixel 4 will come in a black version, although the standby button does get a white accent, which is very Pixely, of course.

Google’s tweet also practically confirms that the phone will have physical buttons, crushing a rumor that said the phone might be the first Pixel ever to ship without buttons.

This brings us to the main revelation from the render, the rear camera. As I said before, Google simply can’t afford to stick a single-lens camera on the back of the Pixel 4, no matter how great its photography software might be. That’s because everyone else is doing triple-lens cameras or better on flagship phones this year.

The render above, however, tells us the phone will have a dual-lens camera on the back. There’s a triple cutout in it, one that might fit a time-of-flight camera, which would mean the phone actually features a triple-lens rear cam system. But a rumor we saw earlier this week claimed that the Pixel 4 will pack a spectral sensor atop the two lenses.

That’s everything Google’s carefully orchestrated teaser tells us. Note that Google didn’t share an image of the front side of the phone, which could have easily confirmed the rumored hole-punch display design that we keep seeing in leaks. Then again, seeing an Infinity-O screen on the Pixel 4 might be wishful thinking according to the same leak that mentioned 3D face recognition and the spectral sensor. The Pixel 4 might feature a larger top bezel that would feature several sensors in addition to the selfie camera. Notice that the Pixel 4 is not supposed to get a notch according to that leak, which is both good and bad news. The Pixel 3 XL’s notch is the ugliest notch in existence. The Pixel 3’s classic design, meanwhile, has huge bezels.

The company didn’t say anything about the specs either, although this baby will rock the same underlying hardware as any 2019 Android flagship, including the Snapdragon 855 processor and lots of RAM.

The Pixel 4 should be unveiled only in mid-October, which means you have a long time to wait. Then again, we’ll tell you everything about it over the summer, as we expect Pixel 4 leaks to keep piling up.

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.