The new Google phone has landed and we’ve got everything you need to know from what it looks like to what the camera has in store for us this year.
Need a question answered? Google it.
Want directions to that new restaurant? Google Maps will get you there.
Need to send a quick email on your way to work? Google’s got your back.
Want to do all that without even touching your phone? “Hey Google.”
Yep, Google’s more helpful than ever. And when they said that they had “a few new things” to show us, we were intrigued. We tuned into the live stream from NYC to find out what they had in store.
Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 4 XL: phones made the Google way
We loved last year’s Pixel 3 and couldn’t wait to find out what the new Google phone was going to be like. And we’ve not been disappointed. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have been unveiled with a new look, new finish, and a new colour too.
The main difference between these new phones is size. The Pixel 4 is 5.7-inches and the Pixel 4 XL comes in at 6.5-inches.
The battery sizes are different too, 2800mAh and 3700mAh for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL respectively. They might seem small in comparison to some smartphone batteries but it’s not all about size. The Adaptive Battery learns your favourite apps and limits power to the ones you don’t use as much. This gives you up to 24 hours of completely unplugged power, meaning that the Pixel 4 is a serious competitor in the smartphone battery stakes.
Both phones have an OLED display that’s already been awarded the highest possible rating from DisplayMate, an impressive A+. They’ve described the screen as being “visually indistinguishable from perfect” – that’s one heck of an accolade. If you want to find out more about this rating, check out DisplayMate’s full report on the Pixel 4.
As well as award winning screens, there’s a Smooth Display mode. It gives you a higher refresh rate of 90Hz – that’s 50% higher than the usual smartphone refresh rate.
What does that really mean though? Well, Smooth Display gives you silky scrolling, flawless video and makes the Pixel 4 more responsive too.
What does it look like?
Both new phones sport a new aluminium frame and come in Just Black. There’s a new matte finish hybrid coating too – that comes in Clearly White and the limited edition Oh So Orange. We know which one we’ve got our eye on.
Radar? On a phone?
That’s right. The Pixel 4’s the first ever smartphone with radar. And with radar, we get Motion Sense – the new way to use your phone.
You can use simple gestures to do stuff like skip songs, silence calls, and turn off alarms.
Need to turn off a timer while you’re making dinner or fancy being able to skip songs with just a wave of your hand? Motion Sense has got you.
But it isn’t just about turning off your morning alarm before your eyes have even opened – Motion Sense makes face unlock even faster too. It picks up your hand movements and has the face unlock sensor ready before you’ve even picked up your phone.
New Google phone camera
Now for the bit you’ve all been waiting for: the camera.
Pixel phones are famous for setting the standard when it comes to smartphone cameras. And the Pixel 4’s just raised the bar even further – as far as the Milky Way, in fact.
There’s a dual rear-camera with a 12.2MP wide lens and a 16MP telephoto lens. The telephoto lens is a hybrid of optical and digital zoom, giving you sharp images no matter how much you zoom in.
There were a whole host of new camera features announced during the keynote. Here are some of our faves.
Last year, Google brought us Night Sight – a complete game-changer when it came to extreme low-light photography. Using machine learning, it picked up the colours your shot should find in an image, making the flash a thing of the past.
This year, they’ve stepped things up a notch with Night Sight with astrophotography.
With new, longer exposures – 4-minutes long, to be exact, and faster processes – you can now use the Pixel 4 to take beautifully clear photos of the Milky Way. Want some tips on taking those perfect starry shots, head on over to Google camera help.
Dual exposure controls and white balancing
Changing up the lights and shadows while editing photos has been a thing for a while. But, what if you could do it before you’ve even taken the shot?
With the new dual exposure controls you can. The sliders let you adjust the brightness and shadows while you’re setting up your shot. This gives you a better chance of getting the perfect shot, first-time round.
And with learning-based white balancing, your get truer colours – so when you’re taking pics of the perfect, not-stepped-in-yet snow, your photo will show exactly how white it is.
The addition of a second lens to the Pixel 4 makes Portrait Mode even better. The new SLR bokeh effect makes the background of your portrait subtly fade into a blur – giving it that professional look.
Google’s been working on getting hair and pet fur looking perfect too – because we all know that Portrait Mode’s best for taking photos of your pets looking majestic, right?
Ever noticed that when you use HDR, your photo doesn’t always look like the image you saw in your viewfinder? We’re talking shadows where there weren’t shadows before and blown out highlights. It’s frustrating when things don’t turn out quite as you’d expected.
With Live HDR+ that’s no longer a problem. You get exactly what you see. You can set up the perfect shot with crisp lights and shadows, exactly where they’re supposed to be.
Google Assistant’s faster, smarter and more helpful.
It’s integrated with more apps, has a better understanding of context, and makes it easier to get stuff done when you don’t have time to stop. Search for the photos from that Saturday night and send ‘em to your group chat, all while catching up with your favourite TV show. Just give your Pixel a squeeze or say, “Hey Google.”
With all the sensitive, personal info stored on our phones, security’s something to be taken seriously. And Google isn’t messing around – the Pixel 4’s one of the most secure smartphones out there.
With 3 years of monthly security updates, regular OS updates and the custom-made Titan M chip, the Pixel 4’s designed to keep your data safe.
And as an extra layer of security, there’s Google Play Protect. It keeps your data safe by scanning apps for potential risks like malware.
When can I get a Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL?
So that’s everything you need to know about the new Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL – the phone made the Google way. We can’t wait to get ours.