Google introduced two new smartphones during its annual developer conference, Google IO, earlier this month. Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL, the handsets are a more affordable variant based on its flagship Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones. However, these aren’t the only smartphones purportedly planned by Google this year.
Thanks to a series of leaks coming around for new smartphones, we’re starting to get a pretty good idea of the industrial design planned for the handset – no thanks to Google, which might’ve revealed the Pixel 4 in disguise this month.
Details are still very less and thin on the ground, but there have been multiple leaks that suggest Google is looking to plump for a hole-punch display done by laser cutting Embedding the front-facing camera into a cut-out in the screen will allow Google to stretch the display to the very edge of the chassis, maximizing the amount of screen to body ratio – while still maintaining a physical footprint that’s small enough to use one-handed.
Samsung has opted for a similar approach with its flagship Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus series. Honor View 20 and Nokia X71 are other examples of the same hole-punch design.
According to the latest leak, popped out, Google has patented a design for a forthcoming smartphone that looks incredibly similar to the hole-punch camera we’ve seen from rival Android manufacturers. The image shows an elongated pill-shaped cut-out in the top left-hand corner of the display – the mirror image of the design we’ve already seen on the Galaxy S10 Plus. The latter includes a larger cut-out to house a dual-selfie system.
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL introduced a second front-facing camera to enable ultra-wide-angle selfies, so that large groups can take photographs that could normally only be achieved using a selfie stick. Based on the design revealed by the illustration filed with this official patent, the ultra-wide selfie system is here to stay.
Earlier renders had suggested that Google would opt for this cut-out design with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, leading some industrious designers to mock-up what the final product could look like. The patented illustration is further proof that earlier rumors were likely correct after all.
Other rumors point to the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 system-on-a-chip, coupled with at least 6GB of RAM, as there would be no Snapdragon 865 SoC if it launched this year for 2019 Snapdragon 855 is the flagship chipset.
Reports suggest Pixel 4 XL will have a dual rear-mounted camera as well – a first for the Pixel range. Google has always insisted it only needs a single lens to produce the same bokeh-style blur that rivals use dual-camera set-ups to achieve. If the company decides to add a second camera to Pixel 4 XL, it must have something else planned.
Of course, the Made By Google hardware event, which has been held in October for the last three years, is still far for this year. As such, it’s worth taking these images more serious as Pixel 4 can step into market later in 2019.