It was only about a month ago when Google shocked us by revealing the design of the Pixel 4, but it's not done spilling details about its new phone. The company has confirmed that its next flagship phones will include motion-sensing Soli radar that lets you skip tracks, silence phone calls and otherwise control key phone tasks by waving your hand.
The world suspected Google might introduce full-fledged facial recognition and Project Soli functionality once the company released a render of the Pixel 4 without the franchise's signature Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor on the back.
Soli will also enable face unlock without you having to look at the phone's camera. Unlike the iPhone X's FaceID feature, there's no additional swipe up step required and Google claims that you can unlock using your face in any direction, even upside down. Where it differs from Face ID is in the implementation. While this feature might sound very familiar, Google insists it is "engineering it differently".
The below video is included in the blog post and shows the Pixel 4 unlocking as a woman's face nears the front of the phone. That's to say, it's developing motion controls for the Pixel 4, and it's all going to be powered by Google's "Soli" motion sensing radar, which it's been working on for the last five years. We'll see whether Soli bypasses that problem later in the year, with the Pixel 4 expected to debut in October 2019.
We'll bring you more Pixel 4 news as it breaks, including whether it will or won't have a headphone jack.
In a blog post by Pixel product manager Brandon Barbello, he explained how security and privacy is one of the "core principles" on the Pixel, stressing that image data used from face unlocking never leaves your phone. Ever since the leaked images of the Pixel 4's top bezel came out there's been a lot of speculation as to what the array of sensors in juxtaposition to the earpiece will be used for.
Other devices have had face unlock already, but Barbello said the version on the Pixel 4 will be smoother and easier to use. It would be a first for Google, as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a both have traditional rear fingerprint sensors. Many attempts at the Face unlock on Android phone will reveal the selfie camera and were insecure and inaccurate. Instead, the data from all the Pixel 4 sensors, is stored securely inside the Pixel M security chip in the phone.