With the Galaxy Note 10 now official and Apple's iPhone 11 likely being announced in just about a month or so, we're finally into the fall smartphone release season. Coming up in a couple of months in October, we're anticipating that Google will take the wraps off of the Pixel 4.
The company's taken a controversial approach to the phone's announcement this year, choosing to share a render of it on Twitter — and later talk about two of its most significant new features — months before the traditional keynote takes place.
Google hasn't confirmed every little detail about the Pixel 4, however, and the latest report is perhaps the most exciting one yet. On August 7, 9to5Google spilled a massive spec dump for both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, confirming the processor, RAM, display technology, and more.
In that report, the following bit of text is what caught my eye the most:
We can confirm now, though, that both will be 90 Hz displays, a feature Google is planning to call 'Smooth Display.' That means the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are joining other phones with a higher refresh rate like the OnePlus 7 and the Razer Phone 2.
90Hz displays are still pretty uncommon on smartphones, with one of the most popular options in the U.S. offering this feature being the OnePlus 7 Pro. Razer offers something similar with the 120Hz panels on the Razer Phone and Razer Phone 2, but that's the extent of fast refresh rate smartphones in the States. The Pixel 4 would be the first phone from a "big" or "well-known" company in the west with something along these lines.
The Pixel 4 needs to stand out. A 90Hz display would help it do just that.
At its core, a 90Hz screen is pretty simple. Where most phone screens refresh with 60 frames every second, a 90Hz one refreshes with 90 frames each second. In turn, everything from scrolling, swiping, etc. looks and feels ridiculously smooth.
I've been using the OnePlus 7 Pro as my daily driver for the past few months, and its 90Hz panel has been one of the main reasons the phone has stuck in my pocket. There are a lot of other things the phone does quite well, but that fast refresh rate makes such a big difference in day-to-day use. Not only does it make the 7 Pro feel faster, but it also results in everything on the phone being more enjoyable to look at. It really does spoil you for traditional 60Hz screens.
As such, the prospect of having something like this on the Pixel 4 is immensely exciting. The phone has a lot else going for it, such as Google's camera prowess and the innovative Soli chip, but this is the feature that'll push the Pixel 4 into insta-buy territory for me. Maybe it's because the technology remains a rarity these days, but think about what kind of package that would be.
A phone with Google's industry-leading camera performance, powerful air gestures and face recognition, no behemoth notch, and a display that has the potential to be leagues better than most of its competitors. So long as Google keeps the quality of its AMOLED panels up to snuff (we don't need a repeat of the Pixel 2 XL 😬), we could be in store for something extraordinary.
As for the measly 2,800 mAh that's supposedly going to be present in the Pixel 4? Oof.
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