17 October 2019
The unique selling point (USP) of newly launched Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones is the Soli radar chip. It is the first smartphone lineup to feature the same and it enables a few interesting features on the new flagships. These include Motion Sense gestures where users can wave their hands to get things done and integration with facial recognition tech to make it faster. But as you might know, Google did not receive approval to use the chip in a few markets. This raises a valid question: what will happen if you buy the new flagship and visit any of those regions or if you import the phone to one of those countries?
The answer is Pixel 4's Soli radar chip will automatically disable itself just when you will enter an unapproved region. It essentially means that you will not be able to make use of Motion Sense gestures for as long as you will stay there. Once you will enter a region where the chip is approved, it will enable itself on its own and you will be able to make full use of it.
As for how Soli chip will be able to detect the region, it will make use of cellular triangulation to do so. It is a widely used method to determine a cell phone user's location by measuring the radial distance/direction of the phone's signal from the nearest two to three cell towers.
It makes complete sense for Google to auto-disable Soli chip as it would not like to get into any kind of trouble with local authorities. This is also the reason big G has decided not to launch the Pixel 4 series in any of the unapproved regions. The reason for not getting approved is the 60GHz frequency used by Soli to operate. So if you happen to be visiting or importing the Pixel 4 in any such country, be ready for the hard work of touching your phone for interactions like changing music tracks or receiving/rejecting phone calls.
- The Google Pixel 4 is available at Amazon Marketplace for $ 632.
- The Google Pixel 4 XL is available at Amazon for $ 789.