What you need to know
- The Pixel 4 doesn't shoot 4K video at 60fps because it uses too much storage space.
- Google also found that most users stick with 1080p and chose to focus on improving that over implementing 4K at 60fps.
- The camera is still capable of filming 4K but is limited to 30fps.
The Pixel line of smartphones is regarded by many as one of the best phone cameras around. Even the name "Pixel" sets high expectations for the camera, and in general, Google lives up to the reputation. All you have to do is look at the advancements in computational photography it has made with HDR+, Night Sight, or the new Astrophotography mode as proof of the Pixel's photography prowess.
However, taking still images is only half of the equation when it comes to having a class-leading camera on a smartphone. The other half involves shooting video, and while the Pixel 4 is capable of recording at 4K resolutions, it is unfortunately limited to 30fps.
That should be fine for most people, but when you're paying top dollar for a flagship some customers demand more. Thanks to a recent Twitter exchange, we have learned why Google's new smartphone lacks shooting at 60fps when recording 4K video, and it has to do with storage space.
Hi, Pixel 4 supports 4k video recording on the rear camera at 30fps. We find that the majority of users stick with 1080p, so we focus our energy on improving our quality in this mode, versus enabling a 4k 60fps mode that could use up to half a gigabyte of storage every minute.— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) October 20, 2019
According to Google, 4K video at 60fps could use up to half a gigabyte of storage for every minute, and it finds the majority of users "stick with 1080p." For that reason, Google decided to "focus our energy on improving our quality in this mode, versus enabling a 4k 60fps mode."
Focusing on 1080p is not a bad thing at all, and it's true most users will probably never bother to change the default settings and shoot at 4K, let alone 4K 60fps. However, if storage is the only issue with enabling the higher framerate, then Google should really start selling the Pixel with more storage options.
For example, the Samsung Galaxy S10 starts with 128GB of storage instead of 64GB like the Pixel 4, and it goes all the way up to a 1TB model with the S10+. Not only that, Samsung even includes a microSD card slot with support for up to another terabyte of storage. Oh yeah, and the Galaxy S10 will shoot at 4K 60fps.
Not being able to film at 4K with 60fps isn't going to be a deal-breaker for many customers. However, when your phone has a reputation for its stellar camera, it helps if you can match the features of the other flagships on the market.
Control your phone hands-free
The Pixel 4 is Google's latest entry into its smartphone lineup with a 90Hz display, dual rear cameras, and a Soli radar chip used for Motion Sense gestures.
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