Possible real-life Pixel 4 photo leak shows Google’s controversial new design

Zach Epstein

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Google’s Pixel 4 won’t be the best-selling Android smartphone of 2019. In fact, Samsung might have sold more Galaxy S10 phones during the series’ first month of availability than Google’s Pixel 4 series will sell over its entire lifespan. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL also won’t be the fastest or most powerful Android phones to be released this year, and it certainly won’t feature the sleekest design. Not even close. And yet despite all that, Google’s upcoming new Pixel phone series is still managing to stir up far more hype than any other unreleased smartphones. As a matter of fact, there’s more buzz surrounding the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL that’ll be released three months from now than there is for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ set to debut in just two weeks.

Maybe it’s the idea of going against the grain, maybe it’s instant access to Android updates, or maybe it’s simply the fact that Google makes them. Whatever the case, hardcore Android fans just can’t get enough of Pixel smartphones. They’re even willing to look past all of the Pixel series’ shortcomings and flaws in order to get their hands on that pure Android experience. That’s going to be particularly important in 2019 because as you’ll see in the supposed real-life Pixel 4 photo that just leaked, Google’s Pixel 4 design is more controversial than ever before.

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We’ve seen plenty of rumors so far about the Pixel 4’s design, and we’ve also seen countless renders based on design files that were stolen from the factory where Google’s new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will be manufactured. We know the design of the back of the phone is accurate because Google bizarrely confirmed it when it posted a teaser image of the Pixel 4 back in June. Here it is again to refresh your memory:

But what about the front? Well, bad news came last month when rumors suggested the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL will feature large bezels above their displays. It’s not 2016 anymore and no one wants big thick bezels, but Google has always been stuck in the past when designing its Pixel series handsets. And the bad news is it appears as though that will be more true than ever before in 2019.

While most smartphone makers are launching phones that inch closer and closer to the all-screen design of our dreams, a new leaked photo suggests that Google might actually be going in the opposite direction. Last year’s Pixel 3 XL at least had a notch, dated though it was even at the time. In 2019, however, it looks like Google is going back to the bezel, and a freshly leaked photo supposedly shows Google’s new Pixel 4 in all its glory.

The photo was posted on Chinese social media site Weibo, and its authenticity cannot be confirmed. The design aligns perfectly with all the leaks and renders we’ve seen so far though, so it’s still an accurate representation of Google’s upcoming new Pixel 4 even if it is fake. And as you can see, the bezel above the top of the display is absolutely monstrous.

It’s 2019 and there’s simply no excuse for releasing a phone like this anymore. And the asymmetry between the bottom and top bezels makes it even worse. Hardcore Android fans will overlook the design in order to get their hands on the latest and greatest “pure Android” phone, but we highly doubt 2019 will be the year that Google’s Pixels finally break through with the masses so that sales might finally be boosted.

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