Google's Pixel 4 (and presumably Pixel 4 XL) aren't anticipated to land any time soon, but plenty of details have leaked out early — and that's without mentioning Google's own teasing. With all these details floating around, we've assembled the info we have right now into a list that's easy to parse in a convenient question-and-answer format.

Launch date

Q: When will the Pixel 4 come out?

A: Late October

According to a leaked Verizon Marketing Calendar, the Pixel 4 is set to land on the carrier at the end of October, which is a good indicator that the general launch will also be around then. Historically, the "Made by Google" event takes place in early October, with the product being actually released/shipping later in the month.

Design and appearance

Q: What will the Pixel 4 and 4 XL look like?

A: Renders and photos have already leaked.

Renders and real-world photos of both the Pixel 4 and 4 XL (which are codenamed Coral and Flame) have leaked in abundance. While there could be some as-yet-unrevealed visual or design differences between the two sizes, we probably have a good idea for what to expect.

Huge image gallery of renders, hands-on photos, and leaks.

There's a complete 360-degree video of the 4XL based on renders. Earlier this summer, Google also tweeted out its own render of the phone, heading off the slow trickle of further leaks.

Recent images have shown a new "Coral" orange color (which I will defend to the death should be called "Creamsicle") that may accompany the expected white and black colors:

New orange color, expected to be called "Coral." Photo above, video below.

Based on what we've seen, all of the colors will have a black frame/edge surrounding the glass front and back. Photos so far haven't been consistent when it comes to a matte vs. glossy back, it seems that may vary based on color.

When it comes to overall design, the new Pixel 4  will have a larger top bezel/forehead, housing the hardware necessary for both a new face unlock and "Motion Sense" gesture system. Originally leaked via what appear to be screen protectors, later corroborated by Google's public acquisition of face data (not to mention previous leaks), it is now abundantly clear what that extra space is for.

In fact, Google published an entire blog post and video revealing the facial recognition tech in the Pixel 4, including a cutaway view of the phone's top bezel, showing the individual components that will live up there. Face unlock won't just use Soli's radar for gestures, there's also a pair of infrared cameras, an IR flood illuminator, and dot projector.

While Soli's primary use is for a new "Motion Sense" gesture system, it will play a role for face recognition as well, triggering it as soon as you reach for your phone. Google claims that will allow it to work "all in one motion." Unlike some other face recognition security methods, Google claims that this will also work "in almost any orientation—even if you're holding it upside down."

A bottom-firing speaker similar to that on the Pixel 3a and original Pixel is also present, so stereo front-facing speakers are gone. If it offers full stereo functionality, it will likely be more asymmetrical and similar to that used by the Galaxy S10 or OnePlus 7 Pro.

The Pixel 4's display may also have the ability to compensate for ambient light color temperature, sort of like Apple's True Tone feature. Improved dual-SIM functionality could also be present, though the precise type isn't known (it's likely Dual-SIM Dual Standby via the built-in eSIM.)

Based on these details, we can draw a few more conclusions:

  • There is no rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, so it either doesn't have one, or it has been moved inside the display (increasingly less likely).
  • Although the Pixel 3A got one, there's still no headphone jack.

Pricing

Q: How much will the Pixel 4 and 4 XL cost?

A: We don't know yet, but we can guess ($800-1100 would make sense).

No details regarding Pixel 4 pricing have leaked just yet — those details may not even be fixed in Google's mind — but we can make a few guesses based on previous prices.

The Pixel 2 XL started at $850, while the 3 XL started at $900. Prices for flagship phones have generally been creeping up, so it's likely that the next "XL" iteration won't be cheaper than last time. A minimum starting price between $900-1000 is probably expected, though Google could rationalize pushing it higher.

The non-XL Pixel 4 should be cheaper. Google gave us a $100 price difference between the Pixel 3 and 3 XL last generation, so if a similar trend continues, I'd expect to see a minimum starting price of around $800, though we could see it land for far more than that.

Cameras

Q: What kind of camera will the Pixel 4 have?

A: Two on the back (a standard and a telephoto), plus one on the front.

We know the Pixel 4 will have two rear cameras. One of those may be a 16MP in a telephoto configuration, based on details dug up in a teardown of a Google Camera APK. The small, barely-visible cutout to the top of the rear square camera bump has been speculated to be a ToF (time of flight) sensor for determining distance, useful in applications like focusing or creating depth maps for software-based portrait mode effects.

Two cameras are visible on the back (plus what looks like a cutout for a ToF sensor).

The telephoto camera may be able to take up to "8x zoom" photos compared to the primary, though we aren't sure if that's purely optical or a mix of optical and digital zoom effects like the Pixel 3's "Super Res Zoom. There may also be a new "Motion Mode" for capturing photos in fast-paced scenes with optimal quality, and Google is expected to further improve Night Sight's performance.

Camera UI showing an "8x" indicator on the screen with a zoomed-in view of the scene out the window. 

The Pixel 4 only has one front-facing camera, rather than the two on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. We don't know yet if Google elected to keep a wide-angle on the front or not, though the company did publish a paper regarding correcting distortion in faces on wide-angle photos. If we had to guess, the Pixel 4 will probably have a wide-angle front-facing camera.

These cameras will also likely support the P3 wide color gamut for photos, based on the details of a Google Camera app teardown.

Security and biometrics

Q: Will the Pixel 4 have a fingerprint scanner or Face ID?

A: Based on leaks, the fingerprint scanner isn't visible or present, so it either won't have one, or it's built into the display (unlikely). Google has confirmed the Pixel 4 will have a face unlock system.

Android Q details revealed that a new "face authentication" system like Apple's Face ID was coming to the platform. Previous leaks indicated the big empty space to the right of the earpiece on the Pixel 4 XL renders could be for a Face ID-like biometric system for the Pixel 4, and Google has subsequently confirmed those details.

A tearaway image of the phone's top bezel shows the various sensors that make up the face recognition system in the Pixel 4:

Face unlock is powered by two infrared cameras to each side of the earpiece, illuminating your face with a flood lamp and a dot projector. Soli's radar system works in tandem to trigger face unlock "as you reach for it," and Google claims it will work "in almost any orientation—even if you're holding it upside down." Face data is only stored on-device in the Titan M security chip.

For more details, see our full coverage of the subject here.

Since none of the renders, including Google's own, have shown a rear-mounted fingerprint reader, we must assume that it either doesn't have one or that it has been placed somewhere else. Given how small and narrow the power button is, and the fact that the real-world leaks show a case that covers it, it likely hasn't been relocated there. That only leaves one potential (and unlikely) location: in the display.

The case in this photo appears to have its own plastic nub for the power button (as with previous first-party fabric cases), just barely visible on the left, which would rule out a fingerprint sensor in the power button.

With the launch so close and no details corroborating an in-display fingerprint reader yet, we expect the Pixel 4 won't have one at all. 

If Google goes with an in-display fingerprint sensor (a big "if") it isn't known what type of sensor might be used. Given Google's commitment to security, I'd put my money on it being of the ultrasonic rather than the optical variety, should it have one.

Models / variants

Q: How many models will there be for the Pixel 4?

A: Google will probably do a small/big Pixel 4 and 4 XL again, with each available in multiple colors. Regional or carrier variants (i.e., North America, Europe, Verizon) may have other distinctions.

History paired with the separate "Pixel 4" and "Pixel 4 XL" render leaks indicate that we should see both a smaller Pixel 4 and a larger Pixel 4 XL, probably offered in three colors: White, Black, and a new orange color expected to be called "Coral" (though I will die on my "Creamsicle" hill). That's a major departure compared to the frankly boring Pixel 3 and 3a colors.

Left: "Coral" leaked photo. Right: Black and white.

Based on the volume of models submitted to the FCC, we could also see specific regional variants with their own distinctions like frequency support, and units sold by some carriers could ship with slightly different software or locked bootloaders.

Some Pixels (like the Pixel 2) have had just one regional model with no distinction between the US and the rest of the world, while others (like the Pixel 3a) have had multiple SKUs even just inside the US. There's no telling yet which way Google will take the Pixel 4.

Headphone jack

Q: Will the Pixel 4 have a headphone jack?

A: No.

Although Google saw fit to give the more mid-range/budget-oriented Pixel 3a a headphone jack, leaks of the Pixel 4 indicate there's no 3.5mm jack to be found:

Error 350: headphone jack not found. 

If you were hoping Google might make an about-face on the subject given the Pixel 3a, it looks like you're out of luck.

5G support

Q: Will the Pixel 4 be a 5G phone?

A: Probably not.

Although some outlets have claimed otherwise, FCC details published for the Pixel 4 don't reveal any 5G-specific support or details so far.

Furthermore, if Google continues its trend to include Qualcomm's "latest" 10-month-old chipset in the next Pixel, then the only way it will support 5G is via an external modem. The Snapdragon 855's X24 modem doesn't support 5G without a supplementary external modem plus other hardware. With the increased power consumption that would require, and the limited presence of 5G networks in the US (mmWave or otherwise), it's highly unlikely that the Pixel 4 will support 5G — though it's technically possible that Google could release a 5G version if it decided to later.

What else?

The Pixel 4 may debut a new Assistant feature allowing it to stand in your place on held calls, aptly named "Hold my Phone."

Hardware specs have finally started to leak, including a relative "upgrade" to 6GB of RAM. Based on what we know so far, here are a pair of preliminary spec sheets. Details may change, these are based on early leaks, but they should be generally accurate.

Pixel 4

Specs

Display 5.7" 1080p-equivalent 90Hz "Smooth Display" OLED
Chipset Snapdragon 855
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB and 128GB
Battery 2,800mAh
Rear Cameras 12MP primary, 16MP telephoto (potentially up to 8x zoom)
Misc Titan M security chip

Pixel 4 XL

Specs

Display 6.3" 1440p-equivalent 90Hz "Smooth Display" OLED
Chipset Snapdragon 855
RAM 6GB
Storage 64GB and 128GB
Battery 3,700mAh
Rear Cameras 12MP primary, 16MP telephoto (potentially up to 8x zoom)
Misc Titan M security chip

The tech behind Motion Sense, Project Soli, may not work in all markets. Very specifically, an early Best Buy promo has revealed that folks in Japan won't be able to use it, probably due to a lack of regulatory approval for the needed frequencies (~60GHz) or other regional red tape.

If there are any other topics you'd like to see covered in this post, be sure to let us know in the comments below.