Prototype Google Pixel 4 XL appears online in an unreleased gray color
Back in October, Google announced the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, their latest flagship Pixel smartphones with premium price tags. Google is selling the two phones in three different color options: Oh So Orange, Clearly White, and Just Black. Evidently, there may have been a fourth color option in development with a matte gray finish. Photos of a prototype Google Pixel 4 XL have just appeared on Chinese online shopping site Taobao, potentially giving us our first look at this unreleased color option.
Earlier today, Twitter user akes29 shared a photo of a Pixel 4 XL in a gray color we’ve never seen before. In a DM, he revealed that he spotted this photo on Taobao. The listing offers a Pixel 4 XL “engineering machine” with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for 2699 Yuan, or approximately $382, which is strangely considerably cheaper than a brand new Pixel 4 XL sold in the U.S. (as of today, for $600). From the images that were shared in the listing, we can’t be 100% sure that the seller hasn’t swapped the rear cover of the device—do note, however, that this phone isn’t easy to take apart and put back together, according to repair website iFixit. Furthermore, there doesn’t appear to be any signs of damage on the phone or image manipulation, so it’s likely that the phone indeed came with a gray-colored glass back cover, as the seller claims. We are fairly certain this device is indeed the Pixel 4 XL since we’ve positively identified the IMEI using an online database, and, of course, there’s the fact that this just looks like the Pixel 4 XL. Take a look for yourself:
Other nuggets of information that we can glean from the rear include the code-name, C2, the intended carrier, Verizon, and the kind of prototype device we’re looking at, an Engineering Validation Test (EVT). In code, Google often refers to the Pixel 4 XL and Pixel 4 as “C2F2” which stands for “coral” and “flame” respectively. Interestingly, the sticker at the bottom says that “this device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission and Industry Canada, nor has it been tested for compliance with EU regulations. This device may not be sold or leased. For internal testing and development only. Markings and packaging are not final.” It’s possible that this design was never intended for release and was only produced to get the device into the hands of testers as soon as possible.
Here are more images of the prototype Pixel 4 XL shared in the Taobao listing:
We can see that the phone runs Android 10, which isn’t surprising since Android 11 is still in developer preview stage. Another sticker can be seen on the front that says “do not remove unless authorized by hwpasafety.” This sticker seems to cover up the face unlock dot projector, face unlock flood illuminator, and one of the face unlock IR cameras.
Early leaks of the Pixel 4 XL appeared in China before the phone’s official launch, so we’re not surprised that there are still prototype devices floating around in Chinese markets. We may never find out the true story behind this prototype model, but that’s usually the case when it comes to pre-production units.