7 things you need to know about the Google Pixel 4

Google's latest handsets pack massive upgrades

Both phones were leaked in incredible detail over the last few months, but now Google has taken the official wraps off of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

They're sizable upgrades, packing in big enhancements such as 90Hz screens, a second back camera, and even a radar sensor used to enable gesture controls and more.

Is Google's fourth vision of the ultimate Android phone the charm? Here's what you need to know about the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

1) Farewell, notch

This time around, both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are identical in design aside from size – and that means no awkward, super-deep notch as seen on the Pixel 3 XL.

Both phones have a large chunk of top bezel to accommodate the Motion Sense feature (more on that below), but very little at the bottom. And on the back, the two-tone frosted glass effect is gone, replaced by a glossier, Apple-esque approach. In addition to Just Black and Clearly White, there's also now an Oh So Orange that's unlike any other flagship out there today.

2) It has a 90Hz display

Google has thankfully followed the lead of OnePlus and implemented 90Hz screens in both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, with the faster refresh rate providing a smoother and speedier viewing experience. Google calls it a "Smooth Display."

The refresh rate will actually vary between 60Hz and 90Hz, depending on what you're using the phone for, potentially saving a smidge of battery life in the process. The Pixel 4 has a 5.7in FHD+ (1080p) display at 441 pixels per inch (ppi), while the Pixel 4 XL bumps up to 6.3in at QHD+ (1440p) resolution at 537ppi. Both are OLED panels with Gorilla Glass 5 protection.

3) Radar, radar

No doubt, the Pixel 4 is the only phone with a built-in radar system. Google's Project Soli radar has been shrunk down into a tiny chip at the top of the phone, which enables a new feature called Motion Sense.

Motion Sense can do a few things. For example, it can sense when you're reaching for your phone and trigger the secure face unlock system, leading to faster scanning. You can also use hand gestures above the phone to silence alarms and change music tracks, for example – and the Pixel 4 is purportedly smart enough to understand context, so not every little movement around your phone will trigger some action.

4) Double the back cameras

For the first time, Google has finally gone with more than one back camera on a Pixel. Both Pixel 4 models have a pair of back cameras in a big square, iPhone 11-like module, with a telephoto lens joining the standard one.

The 12.2MP main camera is joined by a 16MP telephoto camera, which promises to deliver super-detailed zoomed shots via a blend of optical zoom and computational wizardry.

And this camera setup packs plenty more software tricks, as well, such as an improved Night Sight mode and a dazzling astrophotography feature that lets you capture the stars via long exposures. It also has a Live HDR+ feature to adjust brightness and shadows as you're setting up a shot.

5) Google Assistant is faster than ever

You'll find the Google Assistant across all sorts of devices, but it's surely fastest on Google's latest Pixels. It's deeply integrated within the operating system, offering super-speedy interactions when speaking out commands for online searches, for example.

It uses both on-device and online systems to handle your requests, and the Titan M chip keeps everything secure. Also, the Pixel 4 still has squeezable Active Edge sides to get you access the Google Assistant rapidly.

There's also a recording app that has real-time transcription and lets you search within recordings for words. Handy!

6) It's plenty powerful

Google didn't go for the latest and greatest in Android processors – the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ – but the Snapdragon 855 onboard is pretty darn close.

It'll provide plenty of speed for games, apps, and media, plus the Pixel version of Android always feels extra-refined and snappy. You'll get Android 10 right out of the gate here, with the aforementioned Google Assistant enhancements and more.

7) You can pre-order now

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will both roll out on 24 October, with pre-orders open now. The Pixel 4 starts at £669 for 64GB storage, while the Pixel 4 starts at £829 (64GB). Both are solid price drops from the Pixel 3 models, which is a welcome breath of fresh air.

The Oh So Orange colour is designated as "limited edition" – and as of this writing, pre-orders for the Pixel 4 XL version are already sold out. We'll be curious to see just how limited the stock is for that eye-catching option.

Stay tuned to Stuff for additional Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL coverage, including our full reviews.

Take a look at the best contract deals for Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

Also, you'll need a case! We've picked the best ones out there.