Google would actually be ahead of a hardware trend for once.
The Pixel 4 rumor season never stops, even if Samsung is having a major smartphone launch. 9to5Google, which had its earlier Pixel 4 rumors confirmed by Google before the phone has even launched, has a fresh set of Pixel 4 rumors for us.
First up: the Pixel 4 will supposedly have a 90Hz “smooth display” feature, just like the OnePlus 7 Pro. This means the entire interface should refresh at 90 frames per second instead of the usual 60, which—on the OnePlus 7 Pro at least—proved to be an absolute revelation for UI smoothness and making the phone feel fast and responsive. Until 90Hz displays came along, Google was the leader in Android UI “smoothness,” so it’ll be interesting to see what the company can do with a faster display.
Quicker display refresh rates are rapidly becoming the next big upgrade for Android phones—as evidenced by the aforementioned 90Hz OnePlus phone and even a 120Hz OLED screen from Asus with the ROG Phone 2. At the Note10 launch, we were disappointed to see Samsung shipping a regular old 60Hz display on its $1,000 flagship, and now it looks like even Google is going to beat Samsung to the punch.
9to5Google also lists two sizes for the Pixel 4, with 5.7-inch and 6.3-inch variants on the way. The larger version gets a 3700mAh battery, while the smaller version will supposedly have a 2800mAh battery. 2800mAh sounds pretty paltry for a 2019 smartphone, and this is actually a downgrade from the Pixel 3, which had a 2915mAh battery.
We should at least see one big Pixel problem fixed by a jump from 4GB to 6GB of RAM. The Pixel 3 was criticized last year for only having 4GB of RAM when other phones had 6 or 8GB, and the phone did end up being RAM starved for power users—to the point that Google released an update to try to tweak the phone’s memory management. Six gigabytes of RAM is still not spectacular in 2019, with some phones shipping with double that amount today, but it’s better than 4GB.
If these rumors pan out like the last ones did, the Pixel 4 is shaping up to have a rare property for a Pixel device: novel and unique hardware. In the past the Pixel story has been all about the software, and you would buy a Google phone in spite of the hardware. After spending time with the OnePlus 7 Pro, we think 90Hz displays should be mandatory in flagship smartphones, and for once Google is jumping on the train early, even before Samsung. Google’s Project Soli radar sensor is truly unique, but Google will have to come up with a way to make it useful in a smartphone, and not just redundant when you already have a giant touchscreen in front of you.
That’s it for this latest round of rumors. Google has been blowing up the tech news cycle lately and taking the unprecedented step of confirming rumors from the Internet as they pop up. So far the company has released its own phone render after the rumor mill outed the design, and later it announced Project Soli integration after that rumor was posted at 9to5. Let’s see if Google has anything to say about this one—Google, here’s my rumor, so call me, maybe?
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