Google Pixel 4

The Google Pixel smartphone lineup has ever since its launch being one of the most talked about phones, and that is important because they were the successors to the very successful and capable Nexus lineup of phones. However with the Nexus, Google had to get these phones done by other manufacturers, with the Pixel almost everything became in-house and it was the closest Google got with pitching bundled software and hardware excellence done by the same company that made both to take a note from Apple’s book and their incredible success with the iPhone. Today, the Pixel is touted for having one of the best cameras on any phone even though when they seemed to have less hardware involved compared to other flagships but these phones also were never trouble free like every other phone. So is the Pixel 4 lineup really loaded enough to take the likes of the iPhone 11 series and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 lineup or even the cheaper OnePlus 7T Pro.
Google Pixel 4 

The design of the Pixel 4 is quite simple as it ditches all those pop up cameras, foldable displays and edge to edge displays that have flooded the world of Android phones. It gets a new square camera bump on the rear and that’s pretty much it. The front sees pretty slim bezels on the phone have shrunk quite a lot but the top bezel is pretty much as big as on the previous Google Pixel 3. The frame is aluminum and feels good to hold. The back is made of glass but at a glance, due to the finish of the it, one might confuse it to be metal. The design is very minimalistic with nothing apart from what’s needed around. However in classic Google Pixel fashion, it does have some crazy color options that come with contrasting finishes and funky appearances and wacky names which introduces an element of fun in these simple phones. The Pixel 4 has a 5.7inch screen while the bigger Pixel 4 XL houses a 6.4inch display. The phones are also IP68 rated water resistant and can withstand 5 feet of submersion for 30 minutes so that should keep you safe from water damage in daily scenarios. The Pixel 4 gets 3 color options — white, orange and black, however, while the white and orange finishes have the matte metal-like glass finish, the black one gets a gloss finish that reminds you of the jet black finish that featured on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus all the way back in 2016, and on the Pixel too, it looks really good, and is equally a fingerprint magnet. 

The Pixel 4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset that has great power and capacity and is the choice of SoC for most phones at the moment except for the Samsung Galaxy S20 line that has adopted the newer 855+. While neither of those are close to the sheer firepower of the A13 Bionic, its the best that is available at the moment for the Android camp and offers good performance on the Pixel 4 too. It is mated to 6 gigs of RAM which is 2 more over the Pixel 3 so that makes things easier for the Pixel 4. The Pixel line has never been about excessive performance and while it might trail behind other Android offerings in numbers, it feels snappy and smooth throughout in regular usage and will run most of the intensive software without complaints. However it gets a new Pixel Neural Core which works as the AI for the phone and boosts machine learning on device and is also used by the Google Assistant to learn more and handle most requirements on device which makes it quite clever.

The Pixel 4 gets a host of new features though, which includes a really fast face-unlock system as it ditches the fingerprint scanner from the Pixel 3 to go the facial recognition route like the iPhone. It employs similar equipment for it to work such as a dot projector, infrared cameras and 3D mapping and is technically as secure as FaceID is but it still isn’t supported for payments or banking apps which appears to show that neither Google nor payment companies have much trust on the safety of this mechanism. But for regular unlocking, taken the fact that this is Google’s first shot at this, it is very quick and even works in landscape orientation which gives it an edge on the FaceID setup on the iPhone, but on the other side it even works when the user’s eyes are closed which makes it quite easy for somebody else to unlock your phone if you’re sleeping. The phone also brings Motion Sense based on the Google Soli radar tech and makes the phone capable of sensing midair gestures around it and while most of its applications might make it feel just gimmick, it works cleverly even before you lift the phone to know it will be lifted making the face unlock mechanism ready to scan even before you physically wake it making the system even snappier and intuitive which is great. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s a step in the right direction. 

The 5.7inch display on the Pixel 4 is a 2280x1080 OLED display that comes with Smooth Display which means the refresh rate of the screen is 90Hz and can be set to 60Hz as it takes a hit on the battery life. It also gets an Ambient EQ feature which is Google’s take on the TrueTone displays on the iPhones and works similarly. However it is not a very bright display as it hits a peak brightness of only 430 nits compared to the 750 nits on the iPhone 11 Pro and 675 nits of the Note 10. The highlight as always are the cameras on the Pixel 4 and this one is no different. The primary lens is a 12.2megapixel f/1.7 aperture system and the telephoto lens is 16megapixels and an aperture of f/2.4 which comes with the Google’s Super ResZoom tech giving it upto 8x zoom with limited loss in quality. The cameras are equipped with Google’s software and AI wizardry and the results are among the best in class making it one of the best cameras on any smartphone out there. 

OnePlus 7T Pro Review

All of this good but with new sensors and features and the power consuming display, the Pixel 4 is expected to have good battery life but this is where it disappoints a lot. In fact the battery is even smaller than that of the Pixel 3 at only 2800mAh compared to 2915mAh on the 3 and while it’ll just make it a day with light usage, it gets hard to even make half a day with heavy usage and to compensate it comes with an 18 watt charger which is the same from the Pixel 3. 

All in all the Pixel 4 is an average phone with brilliant cameras and funky colors but at a 800$ starting price, it’s just not worth it especially with the poor battery life and average specs. It also comes with only 64 and 128GB storage options and gone are the days of unlimited Google Photos storage in full quality and doesn’t come with earbuds in box which make it a rather expensive and not worth it deal and while the AI features are excellent, it simply lacks the juice to keep everything running all day making it not the smartest of choices out there at this price point.