Earlier this week, noted phone sleuth Steve Hemmerstoffer (@onleaks on Twitter) teamed up with Pricebaba to create renders of the upcoming Pixel 4 based on leaked schematics. Naturally, this got the rumor mill riled up, but now in an unprecedented move, Google decided to one up the recent fan renders with the first official picture of the Pixel 4.
This is a huge surprise for a number of reasons. The first is that if previous Pixel releases are any indication, we’re still four or five months out from Google’s traditional fall release window.
But perhaps the more important revelation is the presence of dual rear cameras on the back of the Pixel 4. Currently, the Pixel 3 is the only mainstream flagship still rocking a single rear camera. Every other major phone maker including Apple, Samsung, Huawei, and LG has already upgraded to modules with at least two or three cameras (or more), many of which support telephoto and wide-angle lenses in addition to a primary shooter.
This development could have a huge impact on the Pixel 4's photography, as currently, Google relies heavily on computational photography for features like portrait mode, its low-light Night Sight mode, and Super Res Zoom, which uses software instead of optical lenses to capture photos with greater magnification.
On top of that, if you look close, in addition to Pixel 4's flash, there are two other openings for sensors, which could be for things like the flicker sensor found on the Pixel 3 which helps prevent banding caused by things like LED lights. But another potential sensor that rumors claim Google might add to the Pixel 4 are tiny radars based on Project Soli, which aims to let users control the phone by making various gestures in the air.
Finally, for fans of two-toned design Google has used on all previous Pixels, it seems the Pixel 4 is breaking from tradition and opting instead for a simpler single-color look. That said, while the Pixel 4 in Google’s official pic is clad in black, I’d still expect some more unique color options along the lines of the “Not Pink” shade introduced on the Pixel 3, and the Pixel 3a’s “Purplish” hue.
Regardless, it’s still somewhat shocking for Google to drop an official pic of its next big flagship months prior to launch. Though since leaks pretty much revealed all of the Pixel 3's major features prior to announcement, maybe this is just Google’s way of staying ahead of the pack. If news about the Pixel 4 continues to drip out slowly from now until the fall, it’s going to be a looong summer.