Google Pixel 3 XL

If you even casually follow technology news, you probably feel like you have a great handle on what the Google Pixel 4 will be like. A flood of leaks have shown us the hardware, color options, sizes, specs, camera capabilities, and tiny details aplenty. And we've already taken a deep look at Android 10 and what it brings to current Pixels, which brings the excitement level up.

These things are going to leak for every single phone launch now; there's no way to keep them under wraps, even if it does feel like Google's particularly bad at keeping a lid on things. Everything I've seen from the leaks looks great. I'm happy to see seemingly solid upgrades across the board to one of my favorite phones of the past year. But the things I actually care about most are the things that can't leak.

The things I actually care about most are the things that can't leak.

Hardware, specs and advertised features can leak. How it all works is what we have to, no matter what, wait to see. I need the Pixel 4 XL to actually have good battery life, after getting burned by the first three generations — and no, a leaked battery capacity doesn't tell the whole story there. Pixels have routinely underperformed in battery longevity, with the XL variants barely scraping by on "average" numbers and the small models being downright depressing.

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The same goes for the screens — talk all you want about size, resolution and brightness figures, but can I actually use it outdoors in direct sunlight? Will it get anywhere near competing with Samsung's latest? I don't expect a Samsung-level screen out of any company but Samsung, and a 90Hz refresh rate will be neat, but will Google again deliver just average display or can we expect more?

Obviously we have leaked specs of the cameras, but just how good are the photos they take in the real world? And most importantly, after using the Pixel 3 XL for a year, can the camera app actually be fast, consistent and stable? And more generally, can the software across the board hold up over time? A year of using the current generation Pixels should lead us to be a bit more skeptical of the Pixel's software underpinnings.

So yes, we know a lot about the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. But I'd argue everything we know at this point is superfluous — what really matters is how it all comes together when you hold and use the phones, and what currently unknowable facts and features come to light after launch. This is true for every phone launch, but it's particularly true for this generation of Pixel — Google has problems to address, and extremely high standards to live up to. All will be revealed soon enough.

While we're twiddling our thumbs waiting for the Pixel 4 announcement, there's plenty to keep us occupied. The new iPhones are here! And we have amazing coverage from iMore's Rene Ritchie, our own AC perspective from Hayato Huseman and a third view from MrMobile. If that wasn't enough, how about the crazy circumstances of the Huawei Mate 30 launch? Stuff has hit the fan there, and it's a real shame, because the Mate 30 Pro looks incredible. Plus, this week we'll get all of the details on the OnePlus 7T. September and October don't disappoint.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoy the coming week!

- Andrew