Google announced the Pixel 4 and 4 XL at its Made by Google event that introduced several new features to the next generation of Pixel smartphones. It starts at a price of $799 and shipping begins on 24 October globally. However, the Pixel 4 won’t be coming to India and one of its highlighted hardware features is the reason.
The Soli chip present in the top array of the front sensor doesn’t meet the guidelines of the country’s National Frequency Allocation Plan standards. It uses a 60 GHz frequency band that isn’t allowed for public or commercial use. The Soli chip enables Motion Sense on the Pixel 4 that allows users to do several air gestures to control various commands on the phone but it’s also responsible for face unlock. Along with the IR cameras, dot projector and flood illuminator hardware, face unlock requires the Soli chip to work with them simultaneously.
Simply disabling the chip and releasing the phone in India couldn’t be a solution since there’s no alternative to face unlock on the phone. The Pixel 4 doesn’t come with a fingerprint reader, so it’s completely dependent on face unlock for security. By disabling the chip, users won’t have an option to lock and secure their phones.
It’s a bummer that Google didn’t consider this possibility before developing the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. We reached out to Google for a statement and this is what the company had to say: “Google has a wide range of products that we make available in different regions around the world. We determine availability based on a variety of factors, including local trends, and product features. We decided not to make Pixel 4 available in India. We remain committed to our current Pixel phones and look forward to bringing future Pixel devices to India.”