The Google Pixel 4 is an evolution of this logic with an unblemished back and a more conservative - but clean - return to hiding the front-facing camera in a black top bar. Soli still has a lot of potential — remember those early teasers? The Pixel 4 XL's battery just doesn't have any wiggle room, and that means I never have confidence in it. My Pixel 4 XL is still running fast and smooth as it did months ago, which isn't always the case even with modern phones. And it's baffling that this is still the case after three generations of Pixels that had the worst battery life of their peers. Which a lot of people have. Instead, there's a sizable forehead that houses all the Face unlock and Motion Sense hardware without breaking the display's continuity. Spend a little time with composition, tap-to-focus and the highlights/shadows sliders and you can take things to another level. The technology is clearly sound and secure. Just a heads up: it’s not exactly like Apple’s Face ID. At launch, Motion Sense can do essentially two things: skip or repeat songs by swiping over the phone, and quieting alarms or dismissing calls when you reach for the handset. It’s rapid, accurate, secure and, when not impacted by a (very necessary) face mask, a much more intuitive method of unlocking your phone than any fingerprint reader. Oh, and the phone only has 6GB RAM, there is no dedicated wide angle lens, Google stripped unlimited photo backup storage for original quality shots, and even in shipping a 64GB storage option Google didn’t include support for expandable storage. It's a much more subtle gesture than the left-right wave to skip tracks, and a much more useful one for me — I'm far more likely to want to just stop or start my music or podcast than actively switch between tracks. It also doesn’t help that fast charging maxes out at 18W and wireless charging is capped at 11W. And there seems to be an unnaturally large variety of software quirks and issues that make their way out of the woodwork once the phones start to get out to regular buyers. The hardware is simple, solid, and beautiful. With Android 10, Google adds more granular control over Notifications and App access to permissions - in today's climate where privacy is constantly thrown in the spotlight, these are welcome features. The Pixel 4 runs Android 10 smoothly and consistently, and that isn't just a function of the 90Hz display. The Pixel series is no different. The incredible thing is that despite the Pixel 4 XL's subpar battery life and questionable value considering its specs, it's still a great total package. That obviously won't appeal to everyone, but it doesn't take many instances of seeing Night Sight pull something out of nothing in a super-dark scene to be impressed. But the screen's brightness really isn't up to speed — I regularly have trouble seeing the screen outside without shading it, even with the brightness maxed out. The added telephoto lens produces sharper zoomed images and truer portrait mode effects, while Night Sight has improved, too. I would like to receive news and offers from other Future brands. The sensor itself is one of the smallest you can find on any recent smartphone, but Google’s software is working overtime to compensate. There is hope, though. Face unlock has been implemented perfectly from a technology perspective — but apps have to support it. Conceivably, controlling your phone with aerial hand movements is novel and a great alternative to touch inputs, especially for disabled users eager for more accessible options. That’s reflected in the physical design, too: gone is the Pixel 3’s two-tone gloss-and-matte back, replaced with a frosted rear glass finish (except in the Just Black color) and, on the front, a full top bezel instead of a notch. The beating heart of the Pixel is the “new” Google Assistant and the Pixel 4 XL makes sure it’s never far away via voice commands, gestures, and Active Edge — squeezable pressure points on the phone’s frame that are sadly missing from the Pixel 5. I was consistently happier with what I got right out of the camera on the Pixel 4 than the 3 — even though there are still instances where a quick hop into Google Photos for an "Auto" adjust is very useful. The larger of the two Pixel 4 phones, the Google Pixel 4 XL boasts a 3,700mAh battery and a 6.3-inch OLED display. Google doesn’t try nearly as hard in some other areas, though. But oh, what photos they are – combined with the Super Res Zoom introduced in the Pixel 3, zoomed-in photos are much crisper. He has been a mobile enthusiast since the Windows Mobile days, and covering all things Android-related with a unique perspective at AC since 2012. Some of that is likely taken up by the reinstated top bezel, and we could nitpick here in pointing out the lost screen real estate with the dismissal of the notch, but those screen nibs were never that useful anyway. Google Pixel 4 XL The larger of the two Pixel 4 phones, the Google Pixel 4 XL boasts a 3,700mAh battery and a 6.3-inch OLED display. Finally, the Pixel 4 series was also the first and potentially the last Pixel phone to offer true, uncompromised flagship-tier performance, all of which holds up today. Before we get to our current thoughts, why not refresh your memory on what we had to say about the Pixel 4 series back at launch. And it's done things the right way, with a multi-sensor array that's much more secure than a single camera-based system and uses infrared light to analyze your face in any lighting condition. I still appreciate Google's hardware, and its software has stayed fast and smooth while picking up new features through regular updates. I’ll come right out and say it, the Pixel 4 XL is not worth its starting price of $899. New to, and only on, the Pixel 4 range, is Personal Safety, an app Google introduced as a car crash safety net. In my week with the Pixel 4, I couldn't manage to get through even an average-use day without needing to top up in the late afternoon. Time has not been kind to its specs or battery, and even all of its redeeming qualities aren't enough to justify a $900 price tag. Google points out that Dashlane, Keeper, Password Safe, Robinhood, and 1Password all use BiometricPrompt ... popular apps, but c'mon, it's five apps. The shape and materials of the Pixel 4 XL match up well with its size. These are the best offers from our affiliate partners. The Google Pixel 4 XL represents everything that Google has learned in the first four iterations of the Google Pixel, including a mid-cycle and mid-range Pixel 3a which was very well received. The Google Pixel 4 XL is a handsome phone in its simplicity that, by the same coin, feels less impressive than its Android flagship counterparts. There's also support for this new Assistant in Google apps like Photos and Maps, with lightning-quick responses even when performing more complex actions. I've even been using it without my usual Google fabric case, even though it's on the slippery side.
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