Google unveiled its Pixel 4 phone Tuesday at an event in New York City.
It’s the first phone to use radar to let users control it using gestures, said Google’s Sabrina Ellis.
The Pixel franchise is critical to Google because it offers the company a chance to create a device that’s become so critical to our lives. The company also looks to each new Pixel as a standard-bearer for the latest release of its Android operating system, which powers roughly four out of every five phones in the world.
For the past few months, the internet search giant has been laying the groundwork for the announcement. In June, the company teased the square camera module on the back of the Pixel 4. A month later, Google released a short video of a woman using a waving gesture to control the device, along with a post about radar technology.
While Pixel phones always get attention by virtue of its association with Google, sales pale relative to rivals like the iPhone or Galaxy S franchise. On IDC’s ranking of the top five smartphone companies, Google doesn’t make the cut.
Overall, IDC also reported in July that shipments of smartphones are down globally 2.3% from last year. The report cited improved mid-tier devices as one possible reason for the decline, compared to pricier phones. In August, research from Strategy Analytics showed that the increase in prices could be leading people to hang on to their smartphones longer.
This is a developing story.