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Open Camera app brings 4K 60fps video recording to the Pixel 4 [Update]

Oh So Orange Pixel 4
Oh So Orange Pixel 4 (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Updated October 24, 2019 - This setting appears to be a placebo. When viewing footage captured in "4K60" quality, it turns out it's just recording in 4K resolution at 30FPS, instead. Enabling camera2API in the app's settings restricts maximum recording quality to 4K resolution at 30FPS, or 1080P resolution at 60FPS. It's not out of the realm of possibility that this could be added later but, for now, Pixel 4 owners can file this in the disappointment drawer.

What you need to know

  • Google's official camera app only supports 4K video recording up to 30fps.
  • Open Camera, a free app on the Google Play Store, opens up 4K recording at 60fps with video stabilization.
  • Open Camera offers a plethora of options for power users that want the most out of their device, including no cap on the amount of time you can record high-quality video.

Picking up a Pixel 4 and disappointed in the news that 4K video recording at 60fps isn't available for use? While most flagship Android phones have supported this feature for years, Google came up with a rather bizarre line of reasoning why it's not supporting 4K 60fps video recording on the Pixel 4. Thankfully, for enthusiasts like myself that care about high framerate recording, the free Open Camera app has answered the call and delivered working 4K 60fps video on the Pixel 4, as discovered on Twitter.

Open Camera is a free app (opens in new tab) on the Google Play Store and offers a wide swath of options for users of all experience levels, but power users will most likely find themselves utilizing its feature set the most. To enable 4K 60fps quality, tap on the settings wheel in the top right portion of the screen within Open Camera, select Video Settings, and change both the video resolution to 4K Ultra HD and the video frame rate to 60.

4K60 recording on Pixel 4

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Head back to the viewfinder and tap the blue camera icon to switch to video mode and, if you've done it right, you should see a toast notification appear on the screen reading "3840 x 2160 60fps" (see above picture). You can even enable video stabilization (found right under resolution in settings), which helps to keep that video from being too shaky during recording. It's also worth noting that you can modify the maximum recording time and record to infinity and beyond, while most other camera apps only allow a maximum of 10 minutes of 4K video recording.

Just like that, you've got brilliant 4K 60fps recording on your shiny new Pixel 4 and, for that matter, any phone that supports the Camera2 API. Google debuted this back-end codebase for developers years ago to enhance camera apps like Open Camera, Instagram, and many others, and it opens up the world of options that modern smartphone camera hardware offers. Keep in mind that 4K 60fps videos take up a lot more room than lower resolution or frame rate videos would, so be sure to utilize that Google Photos storage to keep your phone from running out of room.

Nicholas Sutrich
Nicholas Sutrich
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
6 Comments
  • Saw this on Reddit but didn't see confirmation that it actually recorded at 60 fps. Thanks for the info!
  • I've tried many 3rd-party camera apps, including this one, and the problem with every single one of them is that the output isn't as good as the stock camera of whatever phone you're using. They DO provide some nice extra options though.
  • Oh, and BTW: "Just like that, you've got brilliant 4K 60fps recording on your shiny new Pixel 4 and, for that matter, any phone that supports the Camera2 API." Make sure you DO NOT select "Use Camera 2 API," or you will not get 60FPS as an option with 4K.
  • Well...on the Note 10+, and I presume every other Galaxy phone, you're going to get a "Framerate not supported on your phone," despite what the toast notification says.
  • Filmic Pro? A paid app, yes, but it does have more flexible frame rates. Not sure if it will work on the Pixel 4 since the camera hardware is kinda old.
  • Aaaand...this story's been debunked. I knew it!