Google just launched two new phones: Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL. Both smartphones come with Android 10, Snapdragon 855, 6 GB RAM and 64 or 128 GB of storage. They have a lot of unique features, although we still have some reservations regarding some of them. More focused on natural interactions with the phone, new colors and smart innovations come into play thanks to the Soli project.
The most important feature is, definitely, the 90Hz screen resolution. For many this will be the first time they’ll interact with a high refresh screen on a smartphone. OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7T, the ASUS ROG phone and some other gaming phones already had such high rates, but this time, it’s going to be the first time regular users can walk in a regular store and check the difference between 90Hz and any other smartphone around.
Aesthetically, the phone looks and feels slightly poor considering the 800$ price point. A relatively bigger forehead and chin on the device, curves lines and camera bump, are features that we would not expect to see in 2019/20 but remains a reasonably nice-looking phone overall.
Pixel phones have always been known for excellent photography. It has two lenses of zoom and one standard focal lens, unexpectedly they didn’t implement a wide-angle lens as a secondary option, but the great google software allows for one of the best picture qualities on the market.
Last year, the front facing camera had a wide-angle option, this time around, there’s only one focal lens. On the other hand, Pixel 4 does bring a real time processing in the view finder: applying night mode, HDR and other photography options can now be viewed in real time by the user while snapping the picture.
A new radar sensor was indeed added to the top front facing screen. A hand gesture option, extremely reliable that can be the next step in smartphones improvement technology. We can now skip songs, scroll and even answer calls with simple and quick movements performed near Pixel device.
The 5.7’’ Pixel 4 starts at a 799$ tag, with 64GB and the Pixel 4 XL at 899$ also with 64GB. They are expensive devices and at a store, between the Pixel and other comparable devices, the feature that will stand out the most is the high refresh screen. A very obvious visual difference that could be the deciding buying factor. However, in that other pile, the iPhone 11 exist at 699$ with a comparable camera performance to the Pixel one.
Another issue is the battery life, mainly regarding the regular Pixel 4. 2.800mAh is a very low battery size for a 90Hz refresh screen. Even with the adaptive refresh resolution software, when comparing with other smartphones on the market, the battery may be an upcoming issue.
It’s not drastically improved or impressive, every detail had already been leaked beforehand, but I feel there are some gaps here and there. There’s no black version of the phone, the specs are better and there’s extra RAM but no SnapDragon 855+, a pretty common processor used on similar 2019 flagships.
The ultra-wide Pixel camera was amazing and not having it implemented on this phone was definitely a game changer. The Pixel 4 is a hard seller, competing directly with the iPhone 11, however the Pixel 4 XL might be a viable option.
For the price and quality, we can say betting on the Pixel 4 against the iPhone would be like betting for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL Superbowl odds: not a smart choice. Still, even though it is an expensive device for what is on the line, Google’s seal of approval is always a solid go-to with an exceptional all-round software and most importantly, camera software.