Google unveiled the Pixel 4 and 4 XL flagships smartphones at an event yesterday. The devices see the addition of a secondary rear camera for improved abilities in the camera department, a 90Hz refresh rate for the display, improved Google Assistant features and more. However, a standout feature of the devices is the addition of a radar sensor called ‘Project Soli’ which the firm now officially terms ‘Motion Sense’. This sensor allows for the ability to use air gestures to control the phone and aids in faster face unlock.
That very feature might be why these flagships offerings will not be making it for sale in the Indian sub-continent. In response to a user question on Twitter, the Made by Google account confirmed that the company has decided “not to make Pixel 4 available in India”. While the tweet does not pinpoint the exact reason, it is likely due to regulatory restrictions in India that prevent the usage of 60GHz bands for commercial use. The ‘Project Soli’ chip in these devices leverages the 60GHz band to sense precise movement around the device.
With premium smartphone sales seeing an increase in the country, the inability for Google to offer its latest smartphones might hurt the company. Samsung recently claimed that it holds 72% of the premium device market share in India (in the ₹40,000 (~$560) and above segment). With the omission of the latest Pixel devices in the market, users of older Pixel phones waiting to upgrade their devices have the Pixel 3a as an option or might have to go the way of Samsung or other OEMs.
While the tweet from the company suggests that it looks forward to “bringing future Pixel and other hardware products to India”, it isn’t clear if it points at the possibility of a Pixel 4a in the future sans the Project Soli radar chip or if there are other plans. It is too early to read too far into what the company plans for its future devices.
Were you looking forward to upgrading to the Pixel 4 in India? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.