Pixel 4 rumored to get DSLR camera accessory, 90Hz 'Smooth Display' screen

(Image credit: Google)

Google’s next flagship handsets are widely expected to land in October, and after months of leaks, the tech giant even provided an 'official' hint about what the Pixel 4 will look like back in June. Thanks to both that and a subsequent reveal, we know for sure that there’s a square camera bump on the back of the handset, along with the addition of face recognition for unlocking and gesture controls.

One thing we didn’t know (until today at least) were the display specs that the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL would carry. 

A “reliable source” that spoke to 9to5Google has today suggested that the phones will feature 5.7-inch and 6.3-inch OLED displays, respectively, and both will have a refresh rate of 90Hz (or 90 refreshes per second) – which Google will reportedly brand as ‘Smooth Display’.

While it’s not quite the 120Hz that 'gaming' phones such as the Razor Phone and the Razor Phone 2 boast, it does match the screen refresh rate of the Asus ROG Phone and the OnePlus 7 Pro.

To put those numbers into perspective, most phones today have a refresh rate of 60Hz, meaning they refresh the onscreen image a rate of 60 times per second. Where a higher frame rate or refresh rate helps is during activities that have a lot of fast motion, which includes things like scrolling. For example, scrolling through Twitter or Instagram feeds on your phone can look and feel significantly smoother on handsets with a higher refresh rate.

And the other specs?

9to5Google has also reported that the upcoming flagships will be powered by Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 855 processor – a chipset that has 5G support, and has been specifically optimized for both augmented reality and gaming.

Both the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL will be getting a welcome boost of 6GB of RAM, and with the Snapdragon 855 and a high screen refresh rate, playing games on the upcoming handsets should be a buttery-smooth experience.

The Pixel 4 will house a 2,800mAh battery, while the larger Pixel 4 XL will reportedly boast a 3,700mAh battery, and both will come in 64GB and 128GB storage variants.

Say "cheese"

The Pixel phones have been heralded as some of the best camera phones available on the market, and it looks like the next generation will maintain that tradition.

9to5Google also reports that there are expect to be dual camera sensors on the rear, one of which will be a 12MP with phase-detect autofocus (AF). This means the upcoming Pixel phones will be great at capturing movement and, with the ability to detect if subjects are front-focused or back-focused, they’ll work marvellously well for portraits too. The second lens will be a 16MP telephoto camera.

Apparently, Google is also developing “a DSLR-like attachment” for the handsets that will be available as an add-on accessory. Exactly what the accessory entails is unknown at this stage, but with just another couple of months to go before the expected announcement, we should have confirmation soon enough.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.