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New leak says Google built three different Pixel 4 prototypes before settling on a design

Published Jun 13th, 2019 5:06PM EDT
Pixel 4 Release Date
Image: Google

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Remember those gorgeous Pixel 4 renders that showed us a phone featuring a dual-lens hole-punch display on the front, a la Samsung’s Galaxy S10? It turns out that was a real Pixel 4 design prototype, according to a brand new report, although it’s not what Google landed on for the final design. Also, remember that rumor that said Google had three distinct design teams working on the Pixel 4? Apparently, that’s true too.

The news comes from YouTube channel Front Page Tech, which has delivered plenty of Pixel rumors in the past, including one that said the phone won’t any physical buttons. Jon Prosser is now back with more details on the matter, after having spoken to an unnamed source from the Google hardware team with knowledge of the company’s plans — that’s an actual Googler, not someone who joined Google from HTC.

Google apparently wanted to avoid ugly designs like the Pixel 3 XL notch, and that’s why the company tasked three teams with creating the Pixel 4. Also, the company wanted to prevent leaks, which plagued the Pixel 3, but that didn’t really work out. The first Pixel 4 prototype featured an Infinity-O display like the Galaxy S10, a dual-lens camera on the back, in-display fingerprint sensor, and no physical buttons.

The phone that Google ended up teasing on Twitter the other day (below) is supposedly the third prototype Google made. The phone features a dual-lens camera placed in a square module and has physical buttons on the side. Rumors say this phone will have a thin bezel at the top rather than a notch, housing components that will make iPhone X-like Face ID possible. And this phone supposedly lacks a fingerprint sensor, just like the iPhones that feature Face ID.

Prosser said he saw both prototypes one and three, but he has no idea what the second Pixel prototype looks like. So what’s the deal with this mysterious Pixel 4 prototype that hasn’t even leaked?

The Pixel 4 should hit stores in October, so production will start soon. That means the company will have to settle on a final design soon if it hasn’t done so already. And while the teaser suggests the Pixel 4 will have a rear design similar to the rumored iPhone 11, Google hasn’t shown us the front of the handset yet.

In any case, the Front Page Tech video is worth watching, as it does a great job recapping all of the latest Pixel 4 news while delivering these new developments as well:

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.