Google Pixel news
Some observers had their reservations, following the high profile failures of Amazon and Facebook in the smartphone area, but Google has proved hugely popular in the marketplace – and unlike other manufacturers, the brand has been quite forthcoming with Google Pixel 4 news.
Indeed, whether it's an effort to stem the speculation and leaks (probable) or an effort to be truly transparent and consumer friendly (less probable), Google has been sharing a surprising amount of information about the next iteration of its camera phone.
Google Pixel 4 / XL
Expected to be released in October, this official image of the Google Pixel 4 tells us a surprising amount. The rear array 'bump' appears to house two cameras, along with a flash and a pair of sensors – a major departure for the Pixel range, which so far has made do with a single main camera on the rear.
The image also reveals that there is no fingerprint scanner on this model – leading to speculation that the Google Pixel 4 will feature an in-screen fingerprint scanner, or upgrade to face or retina recognition technology instead.
There are also rumblings that the phone will use a sophisticated form of gesture recognition. The tech behind this is a radar chip that Google has been working on under the codename Project Soli, and could potentially go far beyond the existing 'smile shutter' and 'raised hand shutter' applications.
A recent leak reveals that the Google Pixel 4 will also feature an astrophotography mode. It appears to work similarly to Night Sight mode, with a long depress of the shutter to take a long exposure and the same "Hold still" message. It seems likely that the backbone of the Night Sight tech is carried over, no doubt supported by some AI-driven computational imaging to minimize noise and motion blur.
Google Pixel Fold
The appetite for folding phones may have been willed into existence by Samsung, but the rest of the field is following suit – including Google, which appears to be just as gung-ho as its South Korean rival.
The Google Pixel Fold is officially being worked on by the company. "We're definitely prototyping the technology. We've been doing it for a long time," said Mario Queiroz, lead developer on Pixel. "We're prototyping foldable displays and many other new hardware technologies."
At the Google I/O 2019 keynote, Android Director Stephanie Cuthbertson was excited for the potential of foldables, saying that they "might just change the future of mobile computing". The fact that Google is seriously exploring the tech definitely gives us more confidence after Samsung's public pratfalls.