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Google has a very sad excuse for not supporting 4K 60fps videos on the Pixel 4

Google says it wants you to shoot better 1080p videos instead.

Published onOctober 21, 2019

Google Pixel 4 vs Google Pixel 4 XL camera bump

If you are a serious video creator, the Google Pixel 4 is probably not the smartphone for you. While the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL support 4K or Ultra HD video recording, they do not match the high resolution with a high frame rate. 4K videos on the Pixel 4 are capped at 30fps, which is not ideal to achieve high quality, blur-free videos. Now, Google has explained why it refrained from adding support for 4K 60fps videos on the Pixel 4 series.

The Mountain View firm took to Twitter to defend its stance on 4K 60fps videos, noting that it is instead focusing on 1080p capture. Here’s the tweet in question:

Hi, Pixel 4 supports 4k video recording on the rear camera at 30fps. We find that the majority of users stick with 1080p, so we focus our energy on improving our quality in this mode, versus enabling a 4k 60fps mode that could use up to half a gigabyte of storage every minute.
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) October 20, 2019

Is file size of 4K 60fps videos really to blame?

Google is right about 4K 60fps videos taking up a lot of storage. For instance, you can only record 4K 60fps video for five minutes on the OnePlus 7T Pro due to storage issues. However, the storage problem can be offset by adopting compression techniques.

For instance, modern iPhones and Samsung flagships use HEVC encoding to significantly reduce the size of 4K 60fps videos. In fact, even the Google Pixel 4 has an option to save videos in the HEVC or H.265 format.

Google could have also opted for 128GB storage on the base variant of the Pixel 4 rather than the measly 64GB, especially with no microSD support on the phones.

Google Photos already compresses 1440p and 4K videos to 1080p, so backing up 4K 60fps videos should not really be an issue (even though quality will be affected). Also, users can simply pay for more cloud storage if they want to back up videos at original quality — including 4K 60fps clips.

Sadly, for now, you’ll have to take Google’s word for why it didn’t think 60fps was needed for 4K videos on the Pixel 4.