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Google Pixel 4 Announced With A New Upgraded Camera

Google’s added a second main camera to its phone for the first time

The Google Pixel 4 may just be one of the most leaked phones of all time. It was months ago when we first started to see images of the phone online, with even Google themselves releasing photos way back in June ahead of the official October launch.

Well now it’s here officially and here’s everything you need to know. This is Google’s fourth flagship phone since they started building their own hardware back in 2016. There are two versions this year, the Pixel 4 with it’s 5.7 inch screen and the 6.3 inch Pixel 4XL.

Google Pixel 4 in black

Both the 4 and 4XL house the Qualcomm Snapdragon 85 processor, 64GB or 128GB of storage, wireless charging, Android 10 and no headphone jack (anyone still want a headphone jack?). There’s nothing there that will particularly blow you away in terms of new premium hardware power but then bear in mind last year’s Pixel 3 was already impressive, especially at the price point (and the Pixel 4 actually costs less than the 3 did at launch). Google has increased both phones’ RAM to 6GB, up from 4GB.  The batteries are about the same size as the Pixel 3’s so you’re getting 2915mAh on the Pixel 4 (compared to last year’s 2800mAh) and the XL has a 3700mAh battery (compared to 3430mAh last year). However, the big changes have been saved for the camera hardware…

Despite more and more camera lenses being added to flagship phones over the last few years, Google has always resisted this trend and stuck with one camera. Well no more. Both the Pixel 4 and 4XL now feature a dual lens camera on the rear. One camera is 16MP with a f/2.4 apeture and the second is 12.2MP with a f/1.7 aperture. Both cameras capture your image and then some clever Google software combines both images, taking the best bits from each to create your final image.  There’s no ultra-wide angle camera on these new phones but the real magic in Google’s flagships has always been the software and Artificial Intelligence in use which many industry folk state is the best in the business. The Pixel 4 has upgraded this department with more machine-learning features to improve your photos beyond what the Pixel 3 and 2 were capable of.

With it’s clever machine learning, the view finder actually shows you the improved image with all it’s revamped lighting and touching up, before you take the photo – basically giving you a preview of what your finished photo should look like after the AI has done it’s work.

In addition to those improvements, this year the camera adds a dual-exposure mode. This lets you brighten the foreground without changing the background of the image.

Google Pixel 4 pink

Remember ‘Night Sight‘ for the Google Pixel 3? It really was impressive at capturing images at night (you can read more about it here). Google has improved the performance of Night Sight year with the addition of Astrophotography. This lets you take photos of the night stars and sky by taking extra long-exposure images. It’ll take 15 photos (each lasting for about 16 seconds over a 4 minute period) and then stitch them together to produce the final shot.

Some may see this as a gimmick, but the other new addition this year is Motion Sense. This lets you control some elements of your phone without actually touching it – for example, skip to the next song by swiping your hand from left to right in front of the screen. It works by using a little radar chip next to the Pixel 4’s selfie camera. It’s an interesting innovation but remains to be seen just how useful it will prove in daily use. Ultimately it’s success will depend on how many clever ways it can be integrated into apps and games. The tech does also speed up phone unlocking though as the phone will start scanning for your face as soon as you pick it up.

The Google Pixel 4 and 4XL are arriving on October 24 2019 with the cheapest model starting at £669. It’s also available on pay monthly contracts if you don’t want to pay everything up front.

More on the Google Pixel 4

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