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At first, the prices for the Pixel 4 seemed pretty reasonable to me, but I soon had to give it a second thought as some of its shortcomings really made me scratch my head. Still, there were some features that I fell in love with, and they now make parting with the phone so much harder. All it takes is a flick of the wrist, or hand in this case. This was the most stand-out feature to me, and lives up to the high standards Pixel phones are known for. The three cameras on the Pixel 4 truly make it special, particularly in three areas: dual-exposure control, super high-res zoom, and an improved Night Sight that can even take pictures of the cosmos.

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So, when you ask the phone something — whether to show you a picture or launch an app — it will make the conversion into text on the phone itself without having to relay it to a server. All the information is stored locally on the device which helps somewhat with privacy concerns. The same is true of the 6. The only issue is that a higher refresh rate takes its toll on the battery power.

Basically, it can detect movement and perform functions. So, you can wave your hand across the front of the phone to skip tracks or even install a custom Pikachu wallpaper and have the little critter wave back to you when you move your hand. Naturally, this was the first thing I did. Over time, as more functionality is added, it could become really useful — in the same way as voice controls on phones are slowly becoming more advanced. In a similar vein, the Pixel 4 also moves away from a physical fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone and brings in Face Unlock.

Google Pixel 4 XL Just Black (Unlocked) - 64GB

This has been a staple of iPhones since the iPhone X two years ago and now Pixel is joining the party. In practice, I found the Pixel 4 would unlock in less than a second. It takes you straight into the homescreen rather than to a lock screen requiring you to swipe, so it feels even faster. The other significant reason for joining TeamPixel is for the camera capability. However, we're still tweaking the test and will post final battery life results when we have them.

Winner : The iPhone 11 pulls ahead with faster benchmark tests and a longer battery life. Because the phones don't have physical home buttons, their interfaces rely on swiping gestures instead to switch between apps. New to the Pixel 4 is face recognition, which the iPhone added in with the iPhone X.

By scanning your face, you can unlock the phone and authorize payments. It's part of a suite of features Google calls Motion Sense. The feature can sense my hand when I reach for the phone to unlock it using radar the face unlocking itself is carried out by an infrared camera, just like Face ID on the iPhone.

Google Pixel 4 XL review: not quite ready for primetime | Technology | The Guardian

This combo of readying and then firing up the tech makes face unlock faster. I don't have to tap-to-wake the screen or press any buttons beforehand, nor do I have to swipe after to use my phone. Because it's all just one fluent, cohesive process, the Pixel 4 is faster than the iPhone 11 at face unlock , though they both actually unlock the phone at about the same speed. Google acknowledges that someone who looks like you, such as a twin, can unlock your phone. Google has yet to fix this problem, despite saying it will do so in October Face ID on the iPhone 11, on the other hand, only works if your eyes are open.

Motion Sense also introduced some hands-free gestures for the Pixel 4. I can wave my hand to skip songs, hover my hand to pause music and silence timers and alarms, for instance. It works surprisingly effortlessly and I liked that alarms quieted down as I reached for the phone, which is intuitive and less disruptive. Lastly, the Pixel 4 has voice transcription, which transcribes audio recordings and video recordings in real time. It's super useful for people who may be hard of hearing or for those who transcribe for work i. Winner : Toss up. I like the Pixel 4's useful software goodies, but as far as which OS is "best" highly depends on the one you're already comfortable with.

Both phones have dual-SIM. This is useful if you want to keep your personal and work phone number on the same device. The iPhone 11 has Wi-Fi 6. Devices with Wi-Fi 6 speak that same Wi-Fi language to talk to each other, and compared to Wi-Fi 5, it's faster and more battery efficient. Instead of regarding it as an immediate benefit, think of Wi-Fi 6 as readying your phone for the future. The iPhone 11 has a chip just for "spatial awareness. Apple says this improves AirDrop, but many believe the U1 chip is laying the groundwork for a long-rumored Apple tile tracker.


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Neither phone has expandable storage, but there are options. Though it's the most expensive iPhone 11, it might be better value for you to have on-device storage. Google, on the other hand, changed its policy so that Pixel 4 users don't have unlimited photo storage at original quality anymore. Instead, you can upload content at "high" quality, which is a lower resolution with less detail.

Google Pixel 4 XL review

Though it won't matter much when you're viewing photos on a phone screen, having a higher resolution is great for printing out physical, blown out copies. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion.