Pixel 4 May Have Rear Spectral Sensor, Five Front Imaging Units

Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are slated to be the company's next iteration of smartphones in the Pixel lineup and may come with some new camera technology that hasn't been included in past Pixel devices. This could include a new type of sensor on the back called a spectral sensor that will accompany the back cameras, according to a new video from target="_blank" rel="noopener">Unbox Therapy.

The spectral sensor will be alongside two additional camera sensors on the rear in the square-shaped housing cutout that's been rumored to be the setup for the cameras on the back of the two new devices.

On the front it's rumored that Google will be placing five different imaging units above the panel, though there is currently no detail on what all of these imaging units will be. One or two of these units are likely to be actual front-facing camera sensors and could be standard and wide-angle sensors just like on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL that Google launched in 2018.

One other major design change, if the rumors are to be believed, is that Google will be getting rid of the notch that's currently present on the Pixel 3 XL and go back to having a top bezel like it did with the Pixel and Pixel 2 series devices from a couple of years ago.

Google's own internal reasons for making this potential change could be any number of things but the notch itself seemed to be universally disliked by a high number of users, so perhaps this had something to do with Google's decision to get rid of it for future devices, if it's actually getting rid of it in the first place.

Another thing Google may be removing from the next-generation Pixel devices is the fingerprint sensor on the back. Unbox Therapy alleges that Google will be doing away with the sensor and the ability to unlock the device using this piece of hardware, and will instead migrate to using facial recognition technology for unlocking the phones with your face.

If true, this could be part of the rumored five front imaging units and may be there to help make face unlock more secure and more accurate. Face unlock is nothing new, but most implementations of it on past Pixel and Android devices haven't really worked as well as people might have expected so maybe this will change with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

Though it seems Google will be making some notable changes and improvements to various parts of the phone, returning features like the Active Edge sensors on the sides of the frame, wireless charging, and NFC are sticking around likely because Google sees them as some of the most useful and functional features.

New features and changes aside, Unbox Therapy describes the hardware design of the phones through the layout and build of what are said to be models of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. These models are made of metal and seem to very closely, if not exactly, resemble the CAD renders of each phone that popped up on June 10. With that said there is no guarantee that the phone's design will look like those renders or these metal models.

Most of the time smartphone manufacturers tend to rely on each other for inspiration with design. Though some innovation still exists many smartphones usually have most of the same big features, and fingerprint sensors have been one of these for years now.

Google's rumored decision to do away with the fingerprint sensor completely and go all-in on facial recognition for the device unlock seems like a bit of an odd choice, but it would definitely set the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL apart from other phones unless other manufacturers are following suit.

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Justin Diaz

News Editor
Justin has written for Android Headlines since 2012 and currently adopts a Editor role with a specific focus on mobile gaming and game-streaming services. Prior to the move to Android Headlines Justin spent almost eight years working directly within the wireless industry. Contact him at [email protected]