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