Google has taken a novel approach with the Pixel 4 by sharing some information ahead of time. But, we don’t know everything about its next flagship. And there’s a big launch event coming up soon. On October 15th in New York City, the company will officially announce the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, as well as a host of other Made by Google devices. It’s not offering many clues about what to expect, but… c’mon — you can safely assume the Pixel 4 and 4 XL will be the centerpieces of the event with their touch-free gestures and 90Hz displays. It’s everything else that’s less certain.
While the Pixel 4 isn’t specifically mentioned on the invite, Google has taken the unusual step of releasing small details about the new phone over the last few months. For example, the company has tweeted pictures of the phone’s camera, as well as teased new radar tech that will be used for gesture controls. Details of the phone have also leaked from outside sources.
The Pixel 4 launch is a big test for Google. Earlier this year, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said on an earnings call that Pixel sales had dropped because of “recent pressures in the premium smartphone market.” The search giant unveiled the budget Pixel 3A in May, partly in response to the slump in sales.
The move seems to have helped. In June, CEO Sundar Pichai said Pixel sales doubled in the second quarter, with the help of the midtier Pixel 3A. Pichai also credited the bump in sales to an expanded distribution network for the entire Pixel line. In addition to Verizon and the Google store, Pixel phones are now available at T-Mobile, Sprint, US Cellular, Spectrum Mobile and other sellers, Pichai said.
Google unveiled the original Pixel phone, its first branded smartphone, in 2016. Before the Pixel, Google had worked with handset makers including HTC and LG to manufacture a line of Nexus phones that ran a “stock” version of Android that was free of bloatware, a derisive term for software that carriers and device makers force onto the phones. To spur the operation, Google two years ago shelled out $1 billion in a deal with HTC to hire thousands of its engineers to work on Pixel and other Google hardware devices.
The Oct. 15 event, which will be livestreamed, will be the first Pixel announcement since Google confirmed in August that Mario Queiroz, who led Google’s Pixel team, was leaving the company’s hardware unit. He’s said to be taking a new job in Pichai’s office, but Google hasn’t given any details about his new role.
An official YouTube link for the October 15th event is also set to go live at 10 AM PDT, though you can bookmark it now to get ready. At the event, we anticipate seeing the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, as well as the leaked “Nest Mini,” plus whatever other surprises Google might have in store.