This story was originally published and last updated .
A recent listing on Chinese online flea market has some Pixel 4 owners jealous for all the wrong reasons — those reasons are mostly attributed to this phone actually being a testing unit. There are warning stickers all over the place warning whoever comes across it that the phone has not been approved by the FCC for use and that it has dangerous autofocus lasers. But it's the color that's got everyone talking... and it's gray.
The listing claims that this "engineering unit" comes with 64GB of storage and asks for 2,699 yuan or about $380. Pictures show the device turned on and in the About phone page. There's a clear IMEI in view — meaning that the buyer probably won't be able to use the phone as a phone — and Android 10 on board.
Alas, it's this weird matte gray finish that differs dramatically from the glossy Just Black we're so used to.
While the veracity of this post is up in the air, it does give us a couple of ideas to talk about. If you want to snatch this phone up, good luck. We tried our hands with the Idle Fish app, which is Alibaba's trading post for secondhand goods, and we couldn't get past dropping our U.S.-based address.
We've got a better look at the unreleased matte black/gray color on the smaller Pixel 4 courtesy of Max Weinbach, who snagged some photos of one:
It looks every bit as attractive as we hoped a matte black/dark gray colorway would be. Too bad Google settled on messy, fingerprint-prone, glossy black instead. In our humble opinion, all glass backs should be matte, period.
We're also told by Weinbach that the display on this pre-release model very good, and face recognition doesn't work — all probably to be expected. Still, too bad we didn't get this clearly superior color. It also raises the question: What would Google have called it? Comparatively Coal? Relatively Raven? Black-ish? More-than-gray? Whatever it might have gone by, we're sad we didn't get it.