Everything to Know About Google’s New Pixel 4 and Pixel XL Smartphones

October 15, 2019, 4:10 PM UTC

Google on Tuesday announced new flagship smartphones, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, that come with upgraded photo features and technology that lets users control their devices using hand gestures.

The new smartphones will ship on October 24 for every major U.S. carrier in three colors: “just black,” “clearly white,” and “oh so orange.”

The regular Pixel 4, which has a 5.7-inch 1080p display resolution, will start at $799 for 64 GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Pixel 4 XL, starting at $899 for 64 GB of storage, will include a 6.3-inch Quad HQ screen with faster refresh rates, and better scrolling and responsiveness for users.

At the top of the smartphones, Google embedded a number of features including Motion Sense, which allows users to control their Pixel 4 with hands gestures, like a wave of the hand to adjust streaming music or to dismiss a call. The point is to free users from having to using their fingers to press buttons on a screen.

Google also promised that its phones’ face recognition abilities will be the fastest to unlock devices. That feature is intended to challenge Apple’s iPhones, newer versions of which also have facial recognition for unlocking them.

The Pixel 4 also introduces a new Recorder, or voice memos, app that transcribes what users say on-the-fly—for people like journalists who frequently must transcribe interviews. And all of this happens on the device itself, and not on the cloud—a nod to Google’s pledge to user privacy, which the company emphasized throughout its event on Tuesday in New York City.

For the cameras on the new phones, Google added a rear telephoto portrait lens in addition to the standard camera on the back. The telephoto lens offers 2x zoom through a mix of optical and digital focus, according to the company.

New Pixel 4 camera features include “Night Side” mode that better captures images in darker settings, like the night sky. Meanwhile, “Motion Mode” is supposed to capture better action shots, and an HDR+ feature sports dual exposure controls that allow users to control the brightness and shadows in an image simultaneously.

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