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Google Pixel 4 had 4K/60fps support, but it was reportedly pulled before launch

Google previously stated that 4K/60fps recording takes up plenty of storage.

Published onOctober 25, 2019

Google Pixel 4 series lacks 4K/60fps recording.

The Google Pixel 4 doesn’t have the most comprehensive video recording support, lacking the 4K/60fps functionality that’s become the top-end recording option for many flagship phones.

Now, XDA-Developers editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman has revealed that the Pixel 4 series originally offered the feature, citing references on Google’s Git repository. Unfortunately, the references show that 4K/60fps support was pulled before launch.

The pulled feature means that the Google Pixel 4 tops out at 4K/30fps. Meanwhile, the likes of the iPhone series, recent Galaxy flagships, LG’s high-end phones, and Xiaomi’s top-end handsets all sport 4K/60fps recording quality.

Why did Google pull the setting?

Google previously stated on its Made By Google Twitter account that it pulled 4K/60fps functionality due to storage considerations. More specifically, it said that the feature would use up to 500MB of storage each minute.

The Pixel 4 phones only offer 64GB of expandable storage in the base models, so 4K/60fps could indeed chew up space. Then again, Apple and Samsung‘s recent phones use the HEVC codec that drastically reduces video file sizes while maintaining quality.

Gallery: Here's what the Pixel 4's ASTRO mode can do
Pixel 4 ASTRO sample 5

It’s also possible that Google felt a 4K/60fps recording mode would be a major drain on battery life, and would increase device temperature to uncomfortable levels. It wasn’t uncommon for the first wave of phones touting 4K/30fps recording to implement a time limit on individually recorded clips (e.g. five minutes), ostensibly as a way to avoid thermal-related throttling and major battery drain.

There’s also the possibility that Google simply wasn’t happy with the performance of the 4K/60fps mode. In any event, you’ll need to settle on 4K/30fps or 1080p at 60fps for now.

Do you care about 4K/60fps recording on your smartphone? Let us know in the comments.

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