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Images are clear, crisp and the new telephoto lens lets you zoom more than ever before in Google's phone range. The night mode is one of the best out there. The quality of images is more than good enough for whatever you want to do with your photos. Let's face it, you're probably going to post them to Instagram and then forget about them.
While the second camera does mean you can zoom in on practically everything, Google has missed a trick by not copying its rivals, including the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. It hasn't added a wide-angle lens. The previous wide-angle selfie camera on the front of the Pixel 3, which has now been removed, worked well. The Pixel 4 would have benefitted with a third rear camera. For the first time in four years, Google has acknowledged the Pixel's internal specs need a bump. The big performance issue is the phone's battery. The XL has a 3,mAh battery and the smaller 4 comes with 2,mAh battery.
As it stands, the battery will get you through a whole day, but it often feels touch and go to whether it's going to make it. On heavy days of phone use, I've been hitting the 30 per cent mark at around 7PM each evening. The remaining juice is enough to get you through toned time, but being that low does make you feel uneasy — especially when it could be avoided with a slightly bigger battery.
Mobile operating systems — Android and iOS — don't usually feature in our reviews. However, things are a little different with Google's Pixel devices. The Pixels come with a couple of Android advantages. Each year the phones launch with the latest version of the OS this year Android As is typical with Pixels, the Android skin is incredibly minimal and one of the most user friendly experiences that's out there.
There's no bloatware unless you consider Google's own apps to fall into this category. Part of the apps bundled within the Android installation on Pixels include Google's new Recorder. It's a voice recorder with an AI-infused twist — it will transcribe your conversations in real time. All of the machine learning that detects and deciphers words is done on the phone, using its Neural Core chip.
If we're honest, the feature — which works incredibly well, but doesn't separate individual voices at present — is most exciting for journalists and people taking meeting minutes. But more importantly, Pixels tend to get Google's security updates and patches faster than other phones. This matters when 12 months after Android Pie's release only 22 per cent of Android's are using the most recent version.
Google is turning Android into a security advantage for its own phones. The Pixel 4 is a very good phone. It's fast, contains the purest form of Android available, has a mighty impressive camera and Google's design department has got its form factor right. Sure it may not have the highest specs of flagship phones in the market, but it is up there with some of the best phones you can buy. But is it a huge step forward for the Pixel? In reality, probably not. There's not a large amount of new must-have features when compared to the newest Google phone, the budget-friendly Pixel 3a.
The dual camera addition helps Google keep knocking competitors back in the camera department that's also thanks to Google's AI powers , but a wide-angle lens would have been an ideal cherry on the cake. The phone's battery life causes a level of nervous anxiety that wasn't needed and crucially hadn't been present in previous Pixels. If you want one of the best Android phones around, sure, buy the Pixel. It won't do you wrong and you'll be wondering why more people don't have the phone.
Google Mobile Phones: Latest & New Mobile Phones List 21st March
Both phones are available in white, black and coral. When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we earn a small affiliate commission. This does not impact the products we recommend. By Sabrina Weiss. By Sophie Charara. View the best Pixel 4 pay monthly deals View the best Pixel 4 XL pay monthly deals When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we earn a small affiliate commission.
The new Android 10 features that will transform your phone. By Sabrina Weiss Google 04 Sep Google Pixel 3a review: an Android for iPhone users. Everything Google announced at its big Pixel 3 launch event. Google has dumped the fingerprint scanner for its new 3D face recognition technology. It works through polarised sunglasses and not once did it fail to recognise me. Fewer than 10 apps currently do so, though. And even leaders in fintech such as Monzo are saying it will take a while to implement, so you can forget your traditional banking apps.
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Google has made a name for itself with some of the best smartphone cameras on the market, and the Pixel 4 XL is no different, now with a dual-camera system on the back. It is arguably the best point-and-shoot camera available. Still photos are full of drama and with an amazing amount of detail, even in very difficult lighting conditions. New for the Pixel 4 XL is the ability to manually alter the foreground and background brightness independently.
Portrait mode for people, pets or objects is also improved particularly around things such as wisps of hair. The single selfie camera is also good, with a wider angle than most front-facing cameras. Video capture is generally solid, but caps out at 4K at 30fps and is by no means market-leading. If video is your medium of choice there are better cameras than the Pixel 4 XL. The lack of the fun ultrawide-angle camera popular with other manufacturers is also disappointing, as is Google dumping free full-resolution Photos backup, which has been a Pixel value-add for years. I love the design, the feel, the 90Hz screen and incredible camera.
The new on-device natural language understanding is a marvel. Face Unlock is genuinely great. A transformational leap just as Face ID was three years ago on the iPhone X , but only when it works.
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Only one app I routinely use a fingerprint with supports Face Unlock. The Pixel 4 XL is therefore a very hard phone to grade. Once Google fixes the problems and apps have been updated, the only thing really holding the phone back is below-average battery life. Cons: poor third-party app support for Face Unlock, Face Unlock needs eyes-open fix, Google Assistant needs G Suite fix, below-average battery life, no fingerprint scanner option. OnePlus 7T Pro review: the best kind of deja vu. OnePlus 7T review: the new cut-price flagship king.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max review: salvaged by epic battery life. Huawei P30 Pro review: game-changing camera, stellar battery life. Fairphone 3 review: the most ethical and repairable phone you can buy. This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if a reader clicks through and makes a purchase. All our journalism is independent and is in no way influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative.
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