Pixel 4 leak suggests Google is already testing next-gen flagship prototypes

Chris Smith

Google is expected to launch a bunch of Pixel devices this year, including new “Pixel 3 Lite” models that should hit stores at some point in the coming months, as well as the more exciting Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL that are due to be released this fall. We saw a bunch of Pixel 4 leaks and renders in the past few weeks that teased an updated design for the upcoming Google flagships. The phones would pack a Galaxy S10-like hole-punch screen design, which would be a massive improvement over the current Pixel 3 design that’s quite boring. Google, meanwhile, isn’t afraid to openly discuss the existence of the Pixel 4 over on its Android Open Source Project (AOSP) site, and it’s not even bothering to refer to the phone using a codename.

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A new comment on the AOSP site (via 9to5Google) has the following quote from a Googler:

The plan was to first deploy this on Pixel 3 and make sure that everything actually works. Then move on to Pixel 4 and so on. If I had a Pixel 4 device, I probably wouldn’t have bothered with 4.9 in the first place.

Here’s a screenshot showing the same quote, which mentions the Pixel 4 by name three times:

The comment indicates that early Pixel 4 phones are already out in the wild, with some Google developers already having access to prototype versions of the phone. This Googler says doesn’t have a Pixel 4 device to test the fix he mentioned, suggesting that some of his colleagues do.

The code change doesn’t reveal any other details about the Pixel 4. But now that we know Pixel 4 prototypes actually exist, we wouldn’t be surprised to see them leak months ahead of the phone’s launch, which isn’t expected until this coming October.

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