Last year’s Google Pixel 3 family were some of the most extensively leaked devices of all time thanks to some recognizable design choices and literal sales on the black market too. Coming up to its launch, Google did the unexpected and officially “leaked” the Pixel 4 back in June. Now, here’s a look at every single Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL leak leading up to Google’s official reveal.
Nomad case for Pixel 3
There have been a lot of leaks regarding the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, but the hype didn’t seem as high compared to the previous generation mostly due to Google’s official teasers. Still, the Pixel 4 family has seen enough leaks and concepts to where it will also be marked as one of the most leaked devices ever, and things are still going. Below we’re gathered together every single leak of the Pixel 4 in chronological order and we’ll continue to update it with more as the event comes up.
April 2nd – Pixel 4 appears in AOSP
Hype for the Pixel 4 started back in April when we spotted the device in AOSP. A comment specifically referenced both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL but, obviously, there weren’t many details at that point in time.
April 11th – Pixel 4 codenames surface
Not two weeks after the Pixel 4 was referenced in AOSP, another commit to AOSP revealed the codenames for the two devices. The names “coral” and “flame” were mentioned as the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL respectively, but in the time since it’s been confirmed that the codenames were swapped as we’ve seen in much more recent leaks.
June 10th – First credible renders hit the web
After a couple of months of silence, @OnLeaks debuted the very first credible render of the Pixel 4. Previously, some patents were passed off as blatantly fake Pixel 4 leaks and other various rumors showed unrealistic designs as well. While those first renders didn’t exactly give us the full picture of what the Pixel 4 would end up being, it confirmed the glass back and square camera housing too.
We’ve had a bunch of exclusive reports of the Pixel 4 this year, and the first was a report regarding the Soli radar chip built into the phone and those details were quickly corroborated by findings within Android Q.
Not long after that report, case models of the Pixel 4 leaked out which corroborated early renders and also offered details on the “forehead” bezel design and facial recognition sensors housed within.
In one of the biggest twists we’ve ever seen from Google, the company officially showed off the design of its Pixel 4 – from the back, at least – just as leaks started heating up. That render, seen below, continued to be a primary source of corroboration for later leaks up until today and, shockingly, it wasn’t the last time Google released official details ahead of launch.
June 13th – Verizon timeline hints at launch date
Given Google’s pattern, there was little doubt that the phone would hit the market sometime in October. However, a leaked Verizon timeline further pinpointed a mid-late October launch for the device.
June 14th – Exclusive: Pixel 4 spotted in the wild
With the design confirmed, it became a whole lot easier to sort the real leaks from fakes. We were able to exclusively share the first image of the Pixel 4 out in the wild towards the middle of June with that distinctive camera housing being a dead giveaway for our tipster. That report also further confirmed the “forehead” bezel design.
July 5th – Camera app hints at telephoto lens
Google’s Pixel phones have always featured just a single camera on the rear. While many were hoping for an ultrawide in the Pixel 4, leaks from the Google Camera app quickly revealed that a telephoto lens would be used. Specifically, we were able to confirm a 16MP telephoto lens to go alongside the phone’s standard shooter.
Much of the talk regarding the Pixel 4’s design back in July regarded what it looked like from the front. Previous rumors mentioned a “forehead” bezel that had some concerned. Finally, on the 8th of the month, a handful of CAD-based renders showed off what those bezels would look like and it really wasn’t all that bad.
July 13th – Exclusive photos of Pixel 4 in the wild
After our previous exclusive photos of the Pixel 4 in the wild, another tipster spotted the device – likely the smaller variant – in public. This time, the device was in a different case which better highlighted the camera and its sensors as well.
July 20th – Screen protectors show off a cutout for Soli
Screen protectors ended up being a source of early details for the Pixel 3 series last year and in 2019, they also seemingly confirmed Pixel 4 details. Specifically, these screen protectors showed a large cutout on the front of the device where the Soli sensor resides as well as cutouts for the front-facing camera and the Face Unlock sensors.
Right at the end of July, Google shocked everyone once again, this time with an official video of the Pixel 4. In that video, the company teases some hands-free gestures for the device and in a corresponding blog post, it detailed the various sensors inside of the device. That included the facial recognition sensors and the Soli radar chip which we had previously reported on.
We also discussed how all of that tech makes the “huge forehead” that so many people seem to have gripes with a totally worthwhile decision.
August 6th – Google app hints at a Pixel 4 ‘kickstand’ case
As you may have noticed, the source code of Android and Google’s various apps can be a reliable source for new details. In an APK Insight post regarding an update to the Google app, we found references to a “kickstand” case for the Pixel 4. While we’ve yet to see that case leak, we do know that it would have something to do with Google Assistant’s “Ambient Mode.”
In the midst of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 event, we dropped one of the biggest Pixel 4 leaks of the year. In an exclusive report from our Stephen Hall, we detailed essentially the entire Pixel 4 spec sheet including the first mention of a 90Hz display coming to these devices.
Further, that report detailed the 5.7-inch display on the Pixel 4 and 6.3-inch display of the Pixel 4 XL, a 12MP primary camera, 6GB of RAM, and the somewhat middling battery capacities. The Pixel 4 has a battery size of just 2,800 mAh while the larger Pixel 4 XL has a respectable 3,700 mAh cell. Our source also mentioned some “advanced” camera features.
August 11th – Pixel 4 spotted on airplane w/ slim bezels
The Pixel 4 was spotted again in public on August 11th. The device was seen on an airplane in some slightly sketchy images which showed off the slim bezels on all sides except the top.
August 27th – Hands-on images give close-up look at front and back
In the calm before the storm that has been September, a couple of hands-on images gave us another good look at the Pixel 4 from the front and the back. It gave us a first look at what we’re pretty sure are official wallpapers for the device, that top bezel, as well as the glossy rear back.
September 3rd – Pixel 4 hits the FCC
At the start of September, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL hit the FCC as any device does before its launch. At first glance, these listings seemed to hint at 5G connectivity, but that turned out to be the Soli radar chip using the same high-frequency millimeter-wave wireless technology.
September 4th – ‘Motion Sense’ confirmed to support most countries
Best Buy also got in on the early Pixel 4 hype by putting up an official teaser page for the phone. In an early version of that page, the retailer revealed exactly where the Pixel 4’s Soli-powered “Motion Sense” gestures would work. In short, the majority of countries where the Pixel is sold will be supported. However, Japan and India aren’t included and the list also only mentions “most European countries,” suggesting that some won’t support it.
September 5th – Two Pixel 4 hands-on videos and confirmation of 90Hz display
The 5th of September is when Pixel 4 leaks really started heating up. A brief video gave us a close look at the Pixel 4 in black and showed off the frame of the device for the first time, and just hours later a brief GIF of the white model gave us our first look at that variant (Panda is back!). That video of the white Pixel 4 also gave us our first look at a redesign to the camera app and a hint at a new sound recording app of some sort.
Later that day, corroboration for the Pixel’s 90Hz display was found within Android 10’s source code, referencing the Pixel 4 as “P19 devices.”
September 6th – Exclusive Pixel 4 camera and Assistant details and another hands-on leak
Continuing our collection of exclusive Pixel 4 details, we shared two reports on September 6th. Firstly, we detailed new camera features to arrive on the Pixel 4. Our sources tell us that Night Sight will be improved on the Pixel 4 to the point where it can shoot the stars. Apparently, there will also be a new “Motion Mode” which makes it easier to shoot moving subjects without blur issues.
Beyond that, we also shared details on Google Assistant improvements. The Pixel 3 family saw the debut of the Assistant’s invaluable “Call Screen” function, and the Pixel 4 is apparently going to only make that better by allowing the Assistant to wait on hold for you during a call.
Finally, that day also offered up another hands-on leak which confirmed in pictures a new camera UI, 8x zoom, and that the Pixel 4 will have 6GB of RAM onboard.
September 8th – Pixel 4 leaks in a bright orange color
Until September 8th, we had only seen the Pixel 4 in black and white. Another hands-on leak of the device, though, finally revealed a new bright orange color variant alongside the other two. The color looks a lot like a modified version of Google’s “coral” color that’s been used on products like the Home Mini, but it seems much brighter this time around.
September 9th – Official-looking Pixel 4 promo video leaks
To kick off the second consecutive week of Pixel 4 leaks, an official-looking promo video hit the web. That promo video showed off the phone in-depth but also confirmed a lot of the features that would be coming. There’s a tease of the next-gen Assistant which was shown in action back at Google I/O as well as a tease of the astrophotography Night Sight improvements we had previously reported on.
That video also hinted at how Google wants to advertise the Pixel 4. Specifically, it highlights popular apps such as Google Maps and YouTube and asks the question “What happens when the people who made, all of this, put everything they know into one of these?”
September 10th – ‘Motion Sense’ settings, Coral color variant, more corroboration
Google’s Soli-powered gestures haven’t been detailed in a lot of leaks, but one video gave us our first look at some of Motion Sense’s various settings menus. Those menus lined up with Google’s previous announcement in terms of being able to use the gestures for music controls, silencing alarms and phone calls, as well as an option to have the sensor detect when a user reaches for their phone.
Finally, a hands-on image that day also confirmed some of the specs on the Pixel 4. That includes the Snapdragon 855 processor, a 6.23-inch display which Google is likely rounding up on the spec sheet, and the Quad HD+ resolution too.
September 11th – Face Unlock details, 4K hands-on, camera sensor details
Another barrage of leaks arrived on the 11th as well. This time it started out with some leaks out of China which gave a first look at the Face Unlock settings for the Pixel 4. This confirmed how the feature would differ from Apple’s Face ID, including a few more disclaimers during setup. That leak also confirmed the 90Hz refresh rate courtesy of a device information app.
From there, two hands-on videos hit the web out of Vietnam. One of those leaks offered up a 4K video of the Pixel 4 which was easily our best look to date at the device. In that video, Face Unlock was further detailed, the Google Camera app was shown off, and the toggle for the 90Hz “Smooth Display” was also shown along with the “Ambient EQ” feature.
In the other video, we get a better look at the orange variant in a video which mentioned that the white and orange versions will have a matte finish on the back. That video also provided the first camera samples from the Pixel 4 and extensive details on the various camera sensors. Specifically, it showed that the Pixel 4 will actually be using the same primary camera sensor that the Pixel 3 did.
September 12th – Assistant UI and other apps, gaming test
Leaks out of Vietnam kept pouring out with a detailed hands-on giving us a better look at the software. This included a peek at the new Google Assistant UI that’s coming with the Pixel 4. We’ve seen this UI roll out to some users in the past, but it seems like it’ll be used for the “next-generation Assistant” that’s coming with the Pixel 4.
That leak also detailed “Pixel Themes” which take advantage of some of the features we saw pop up in Android Q/10 beta updates. Screenshots also showed off Themes in another leak, and there are hints of the functionality on current devices running Android 10. There was also another look at the Face Unlock settings.
That same day, another video focused in on the gaming chops of the Pixel 4. With a Snapdragon 855 and 90Hz display, it seems like it’ll work out pretty well.
September 13th – Pixel 4 camera comparison and details on the new Google Camera app
Obviously, the camera is one of the things we’re excited to check out on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. In two videos by the same channel, the Pixel 4’s camera is compared to the Galaxy Note 10+ as well as the iPhone XS Max. The Pixel holds up well in both cases, but it’s clear Google still has a decent amount of work to do in the video department.
Around the same time, a version of Google Camera app for the Pixel 4, version 7.0, came out. We took a hands-on look at some of the UI improvements in a hands-on gallery as well as releasing the APK for download.
September 14th – ‘Needlefish’ analysis, a bunch more Pixel 4 picture leaks, and astrophotography testing
Pixel 4 leaks didn’t take a break for the weekend either. Our own Kyle Bradshaw worked up an in-depth analysis of what could be a third Pixel phone in 2019, “needlefish.” His breakdown goes over what we know about the device, including that it appears alongside the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL codenames numerous times, as well as going over what it could be. This includes a Pixel 4a, a possibly scrapped device variant, as well as less-likely Pixel tablets or smartwatches.
Our friends over at XDA also took a look at the Google Camera app’s astrophotography improvements with a modified version of the app running on a Pixel 3. We’re expecting things to get even better on a Pixel 4, but even on this hardware, things are looking great.
Oh, and there was another huge gallery of Pixel 4 images too.
September 16th – Google announces ‘Made by Google’ event and Netflix leaks the Pixel 4
As we get closer to the official reveal, we’re only expecting more leaks of the Pixel 4 to come out. On September 16th, we finally learned when that reveal would be. Google officially confirmed that the Pixel 4 would launch on October 15th at an event in New York City. Of course, we’ll be in attendance at the event.
Netflix also joined in on the Pixel 4 leaks by accidentally leaking the device alongside some additions to its HDR10-compatible device list. It’s since been removed, though.
September 17th – Official Google ad shows off the ‘coral’ Pixel 4
To go along with the official event, Google started building up hype with advertisements in Times Square. Those ads also confirmed the “coral” color variant of the Pixel 4.
September 20th – ‘Oh So Orange’ is the latest color & unreliable price leaks
With literally dozens of leaks behind us, it felt like there was basically nothing we didn’t already know about the Pixel 4. In another exclusive report, we were able to reveal that the Pixel 4 with come in three colors. Those will be “Just Black,” “Clearly White,” and “Oh So Orange.” Those first two aren’t surprising in the least, but the “Oh So Orange” is a departure from the “Kinda” “Not” and “-ish” monikers used on the Pixel 2 and 3 families.
That same day, an Irish retailer also leaked early listing for the Pixel 4 which corroborated our report. Those listings reveal prices for the device as well but they’re not reliable to convert to US prices. In that one specific case, the Pixel 4 looked cheaper than the Pixel 3, but we can’t take that at face value just yet.
September 23rd – Another hands-on leak w/ matte finish and Face Unlock details
The Pixel 4 leaks via hands-on posts still haven’t stopped. On September 23rd, another outlet posted a detailed hands-on of the Pixel 4 which further confirmed details and offered new light on the devices as well. One of those details included the matte finish on the back of the white variant. While we know the Pixel 4’s black variant will be super glossy, the white version will apparently have a matte finish that’s not quite as soft as what the Pixel 3 offered, presumably to avoid scratches.
Further, the hands-on gave us another peek at Face Unlock which mentions how it works in dark environments, the angle of how it works, and showing some of the options the system will have such as immediately unlocking the phone or not. Oh, there’s also definitive confirmation that there’s no fingerprint sensor.
September 25th – Leaked Pixel 4 promo art and a size comparison
A day after its first hands-on, the same publication followed up with a closer look at some parts of the Pixel 4. This includes the next-gen Assistant, the cameras, Face Unlock, and Ambient EQ as well. The Pixel 4 XL was also placed alongside the Galaxy S10+ and Pixel 3a XL to reveal a similar footprint and also a top bezel which is no bigger than the one on the Pixel 3a XL.
Alongside that, Evan Blass also jumped in on the Pixel 4 hype with a leaked piece of promo art for the phone. That image lined up closely with a previous video ad we’d seen and sheds more like on Google’s marketing angle for this device.
September 26th – A flood of exclusive Pixel 4 software leaks (and another video)
On September 26th we struck the motherload when it comes to Pixel 4 apps. A handful of various APKs from the device gave us the opportunity to share exclusive looks at Google’s new Recorder app, the “Pixel Themes” app, and more. We were also able to pull details regarding Motion Sense and what apps it might work with as well as details regarding the wallpapers coming with the new device.
All of our findings can be found in this one convenient roundup.
While we were digging into all of those APKs, another hands-on video of the Pixel 4 also leaked which offered a look at the hardware and software as well as the camera all with an English presenter.
September 28th – Pixel 4 wallpapers fully revealed
With some additional digging from XDA, we were able to see the Pixel 4’s wallpapers fully revealed and available for download on your device. Several of the new wallpapers can be customized with different colors and even changed based on your location as well. We’ve got a full hands-on video with the new wallpapers as well.
To Be Continued…
Of course, there will be many more Pixel 4 leaks to follow. Stay tuned here to 9to5Google as we’ll post them as they happen. On top of that, we’ll be updating this post on a regular basis as leaks come out.