The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones sport some hardware upgrades including a 90 Hz display, dual rear cameras, a new face unlock system, and a radar, of all things.

While there’s obviously no way to bring that hardware to older Pixel phones, some of the new software features that are making their debut on the Pixel 4 are going to make their way to the Pixel 3 series.


The folks at 9to5Google have helpfully listed most of the new features that are coming coming soon to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a, but here are some of the highlights:

  • New Google Assistant (simpler UI, faster responses due to offline voice processing)
  • Live Caption (create real-time captions for any video, no internet connection required)
  • Recorder app (with live, real-time transcripts of recordings)
  • Top Shot for videos (save a short video and choose the best frame to save as an image)
  • Astrophotography (long-exposure Night Sight images of the night sky)

Google hasn’t announced plans to backport any of the features listed above to Pixel 2 or older phones.

And some new features won’t be coming to the Pixel 3 series either, because they require new hardware like the Soli radar chip, the new front camera system for facial recognition, or the telephoto camera.

For example, don’t expect to see dual-exposure HDR support on older phones anytime soon. Hands-free gesture controls are a non-starter, as is optical zoom (obviously). And 9to5Google suggests that while car crash detection could eventually make their way to older phones, the current version relies on Pixel 4-exclusive hardware.


Support Liliputing

Liliputing's primary sources of revenue are advertising and affiliate links (if you click the "Shop" button at the top of the page and buy something on Amazon, for example, we'll get a small commission).

But there are several ways you can support the site directly even if you're using an ad blocker* and hate online shopping.

Contribute to our Patreon campaign


Contribute via PayPal

* If you are using an ad blocker like uBlock Origin and seeing a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen, we have a guide that may help you disable it.

Subscribe to Liliputing via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,543 other subscribers