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A new Pixel 4 XL leak shows off next-gen Google Assistant and face unlock

A new Pixel 4 XL leak shows off next-gen Google Assistant and face unlock


The leaks just keep coming

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Leaks of the Pixel 4, a phone that we already seem to know a lot about, just keep coming. Nextrift got its hands on what appears to be a production Pixel 4 XL, and it posted impressions and some new details, including what seems to be the first public look at the next-gen Google Assistant, which Google announced in May at Google I/O.

Google says the next-gen Assistant would be “up to 10 times faster,” could respond to questions or requests without requiring you to say “Hey, Google” each time, and queries will be processed on the device instead of being processed at Google’s servers. In Nextrift’s testing of the next-gen Assistant, it says it was “noticeably quicker” at processing requests, and it could actually make requests of the Assistant without prompting with “Hey, Google” for each question. It’s unclear from Nextrift’s impressions if Assistant was actually working on the device. Nextrift also has a picture of Assistant running on the Pixel 4 XL with what appears to be a slick new Assistant UI:

Image: Nextrift

Nextrift shared new information about how the Pixel 4’s face unlock technology may work. Nextrift said the face unlock setup process is a lot like Apple’s Face ID, which matches with information about the setup process already shared by GenK. However, Nextrift seems to have actually found a way to make face unlock work. It says that “a quick glance” is all that’s needed to unlock the Pixel 4 XL, and it works even if the phone is held sideways or upside down (which is something Google has already said it would do). Notably, Nextrift also found that the Pixel 4 XL’s face unlock settings page has an interesting disclaimer: “Your phone can be unlocked by someone who looks a lot like you, say, an identical sibling.”

Image: Nextrift
Image: Nextrift

Nextrift also noticed an interesting tidbit in the settings of its Pixel 4 XL. We have seen in other leaks that the rumored variable refresh display, apparently called Smooth Display, would “dynamically” adjust the screen’s refresh rate between 60 Hz and 90 Hz. Nextrift found that, when it switched on Smooth Display, the display’s refresh rate appeared to be “locked” at 90 Hz, and it speculated that it would dip to 60 Hz if an app didn’t support the faster refresh rate.

Google is expected to announce more about the Pixel 4 at an event on October 15th. We’ll be there covering everything from the show. But at the current rate of leaks, Google might not have any surprises left to show.

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