With the vast number of leaks we have reported regarding the Pixel 4 smartphone, there was not much that was new during the Made by Google 2019 reveal on Tuesday. While the news wasn’t “new,” some of the features are, including face recognition, gesture controls, a voice recorder with accurate transcription, and a dual-lens camera.
Pixel 4 uses facial recognition to unlock the phone like many other devices. However, it also has a radar chip that senses when you reach for it and starts the authentication process, so that the device instantly unlocks by the time you look at the phone. Google claims that this makes the Pixel 4 the fastest phone to unlock.
The radar capability also brings gesture controls to the Pixel 4. Google calls it “Motion Sense,” and it allows users to do things like skip songs or silence a call. Samsung and others have tried gesture controls, but they eventually ditched them, mainly due to a lack of interest and inaccuracy. Google hopes to make Motion Sense stick by using AI to differentiate between accidental and purposeful gestures.
The Pixel 4 voice recorder app has auto-transcribe that is pretty impressive — at least in the demo shown. Software dictation is pretty hit and miss across most platforms. It is often slower than typing due to misheard words and having to speak punctuation. Google’s demo of auto-transcribe seemed to do a good job recognizing words and inserting proper punctuation.
The Pixel 4 is also following the pack with a new multi-sensor rear-camera array. It has dual lenses but still relies heavily on Google’s AI and machine learning for image processing. However, now you can make several processing adjustments before even snapping the shot. The camera also has a “super-res” digital zoom.
As usual, Pixel 4 comes in the standard (5.7-inch), and XL (6.3-inch) display versions starting at $799 and $899, respectively. Users have the choice of three colors — black, white, and orange. Pre-orders went up today and include three months of the Google One service plan with 100GB of cloud storage. Customers will also get a $100 credit tom purchase accessories. Phones will ship on October 24.