Google came so close to nailing its Android hardware vision with the Pixel 3 XL, but that incredibly deep notch and no-longer-world-beating camera held it back from true must-have status.
Will the fourth time be the charm, then? Google has already spilled the official word on several details, and others have come out thanks to rumours and reports. It'll still be potentially weeks before Google rolls out the real thing, but we already know of some really compelling changes in the mix.
Wondering whether you should hold out 'til later this year? Here's what we know and have heard so far about the Google Pixel 4.
(Above leaked render via Evan Blass)
What will the Google Pixel 4 look like?
Surprise! It's not the clearest look in the world, but that image above is officially the Google Pixel 4. Google actually shared the image in mid-June following a big wave of leaks. Kudos to Google for getting ahead of the rumours.
It only shows the back of the Pixel 4, but that's enough to know that big changes are afoot. The two-tone aesthetic of previous models is apparently gone, and so is the physical back-mounted fingerprint sensor. The simple glass backing looks a lot closer to that of the iPhone XS, and Google does have a history of looking to Apple for Pixel inspiration.
What's even more amusing is that the big, rounded square camera module looks very similar to what's been extensively leaked so far for Apple's new 2019 iPhones. Maybe Google's early teaser release was also an opportunity to beat Apple to the punch on that, since Apple surely won't show anything until the phones are officially revealed in September.
How about the front, then? Well, we know that it has a lot of top bezel and no notch - but at least that top bezel is functional. As Google has now officially confirmed following leaks, the top of the phone will feature numerous sensors to enable iPhone XS-like facial unlock capabilities, but it'll also have a Soli radar chip.
Google's long-in-the-works program essentially puts a tiny radar sensor on your phone, which can sense small movements nearby. That will enable LG G8-esque hand movements above and around the phone, except hopefully they're a lot better than the G8's. And it'll also cue the phone's facial unlock capabilities, so that it's ready to scan your face as soon as your hand touches the phone. Google says it can read your face from any angle, too, so you don't have to frame yourself up nicely.
The Soli radar chip will be accompanied by an official "Pokémon Wave Hello" demo app that lets you test out the features while interacting with the adorable creatures. 9to5Google has images and video from the leaked app.
The above image leaked in early September via Weibo, showing a bright orange Pixel 4 with a black frame. We've also seen models with black frames in the supposed leaked promo video further down the page, and that seems to support the concept.
Google has since confirmed that an orange model is coming, thanks to a big lighted sign in Times Square in New York City. As spotted by a Reddit user, the sign promotes Google's announced October hardware event while showcasing the very same orange-and-black model seen below. Well, it'll be timely for Halloween, at least. 9to5Google suggests that the colour will be called Oh So Orange, joining Just Black and Clearly White. You can catch a seemingly official leaked render at the top of the page, thanks to notorious leaker Evan Blass.