Google Pixel 4 has new dual camera, auto-transcribe, and gesture controls

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

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.

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SolarisGuru

TS Booster
After seeing the images of this phone I can't help but think the big three (Google, Apple, and Samsung) just copy one another every chance they get. I'm not arguing who did what first, but damn, this thing screams iPhone 11. Why can't these companies be a little more original with their designs? Again, I'm not pointing a finger at any single company, but all these modern flagship phones look the same to me.
 
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Mr Majestyk

TS Maniac
After seeing the images of this phone I can't help but think the big three (Google, Apple, and Samsung) just copy one another every chance they get. I'm not arguing who did what first, but damn, this thing screams iPhone 11. Why can't these companies be a little more original with their designs? Again, I'm not pointing a finger at any single company, but all these modern flagship phones look the same to me.
Fair point, but what do you want them do that would make you happy? Phones have looked pretty much the same for last 10 years, just smaller and smaller bezels. We’re highly constrained by our anatomy as to the size of a portable hand-held device, I’m not sure how to do something radically different.
 
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McMurdeR

TS Addict
When it launched the Pixel 3 had the best camera hands down. Is there enough here to tempt people away from other flagships? It looks a nice phone but it doesn't really differentiate itself aside from a few novel software features.

However a 4a variant with a few luxuries pealed off and a rational price tag would be immensely tempting. Google seem to do much better in the midrange space.
 

mbrowne5061

TS Evangelist
Small battery, no finger print scanner, no more unlimited RAWs in cloud storage, no headphones or even a jack or dongle included... Tell me, why would anyone buy this phone over the competition?
 

thelatestmodel

TS Addict
Yeah it also has a tiny battery, no headphone jack, no headphones or adapter in the box, no fingerprint sensor(!), no unlimited original quality photo backups, etc.

It's a regression for Google in nearly every department. Almost EVERY other device offers more for the money.
 

SolarisGuru

TS Booster
Fair point, but what do you want them do that would make you happy? Phones have looked pretty much the same for the last 10 years, just smaller and smaller bezels. We’re highly constrained by our anatomy as to the size of a portable hand-held device, I’m not sure how to do something radically different.
Isn't that the million-dollar question? I honestly don't know, but, neither do the manufacturers it seems. I hope they can eventually break this copycat game and really stand out individually again. I'm not being negative. I just want to see these companies come up with some original ideas and not copy one another every generation.