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Friday, August 23, 2019

Google Pixel 4 sensors revealed in official teaser; 2 face unlock IR cameras, 1 selfie lens, Soli radar chip and more

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Ashwin Karthik
Originally a Business Grad, Ashwin is a natural at testing and reviewing apps & games for Windows and Android Apps, as well as flashing ROMs. A proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S7 and an ASUS Zenfone Max Pro M1, he is also an avid gamer and loves playing on his PC & Nintendo consoles.

About a month ago, Google teased the Pixel 4 design by sharing a picture of the back panel. And now the Mountain View Company has revealed the Pixel 4 sensors placed on the front.

Google Pixel 4 sensors

The new teaser shows that the phone has a giant forehead, but for several good reasons.

Pixel 4 sensors explained

The bezel is packed with sensors, which comprises two Face Unlock IR (infra-red) cameras, one on each side. They will be assisted by a Dot Projector which can map your face in 3D, and a Flood Illuminator which will produce infrared light. This in coherence with the IR Face Unlock cameras will help the camera’s identify the face, in low-light conditions

Soli Radar Chip: Hands-free motion gestures, streamlined Face Unlock

Remember ATAP? Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team, once famously worked on the modular phone Project Ara, which never saw daylight. ATAP has been working on other technologies, and once of these is Project Soli.

The Soli Radar Chip can detect motion, and the Pixel 4 uses the chip for Motion Sense. This allows you to wave your hand in front of the phone to skip songs, snooze alarms, silence phone calls and more. Google says Motion Sense will be available in select Pixel countries.

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Soli also assists the Face Unlock process in the Pixel 4 in a more streamlined way, compared to how other phones do this. Because it can sense motion, the radar chip will activate the face unlock sensors, when you reach for the phone, and if the sensors recognize you, the phone will be unlocked without having to press any button to wake the phone.

Secure Face Unlock

Google says the Face Unlock on the Pixel 4 is secure, and the data used by the device’s sensors is not shared with or stored on any of the company’s servers. Instead, the data from all the Pixel 4 sensors, is stored securely inside the Pixel M security chip in the phone.

The company says that this secure face unlock can also be used to make payments and app authentication, which we believe is similar to how the fingerprint sensor is used for on apps like PayPal, LastPass, etc.

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Other Pixel 4 sensors

Also seen in the photo of the Pixel 4 sensors, are an audio port (no, not the headphone jack, it is an earpiece) and an ambient light/proximity sensor.

Here’s a recap of the device’s design from the previous teaser and leaked renders. They seem pretty accurate, when compared with the new teaser.

There is no ETA on the Pixel 4 launch date yet. Google probably released the information regarding the sensors to justify the giant forehead bezel, and by the time the phone is officially announced, people would already be aware of its capabilities. That’s not a bad plan considering Samsung and Apple are prepping to launch the Galaxy Note10 and the iPhone 12 respectively, before the Pixel 4 may be announced.


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