After months of speculation and several embarrassing leaks and teases from Google itself, Google finally releases the pixel 4 and the Pixel 4XL but there is more to these batches of phones than the leaks suggested.
Oh! Boy, there are a lot of exiting new features on this phone that I can’t wait to test and review.
Let’s start with the design. Of course, we’ve all seen the leaks but let me just reiterate the design.
The Pixel 4 and 4XL does not have the infamous ugly notch of the Pixel 3XL.
The notch-less design allowed Google to pack an array of sensors into the forehead. More on that later.
The overall size of these new phones is roughly the same as last year’s Pixel 3 and 3XL with the Pixel 4s just a millimeter or so bigger. the new phones are also a tad bit heavier but the overall solid feel of the phone makes it seem more robust and premium.
On the front is where some of the biggest changes have occurred. The Pixel 4 and 4XL sport a 5.7″ and a 6.3″ 90 Hz OLED display like the one found on the One Plus 7 Pro.
In simpler words, 90 Hz means the display refreshes 90 times per second. This makes graphics look smoother and text sharper.
Google call the new screen on the Pixel 4 Smooth Display and it has a feature called Ambient EQ which sounds like the title of a Jazz song.
Ambient EQ adjusts the color temperature in different lighting conditions to make the screen look cleaner and natural. This is similar to Apple’s Truetone Feature on the iPhone and iPad.
What’s really impressive is what’s above the smooth display. Remember the “notch”, Google bucked the trend and went for a thicker forehead that houses an array of sensors.
The Pixel 4 motion sense feature uses a mixture of sensors, infrared and radar to let you unlock the phone with your face. And boy! is the face unlock fast.
Motion Sense is touted to be a strong biometric that can be used with Google Pay as well as password apps. It can be used for other things, for example, you can swipe your hand across the phone to forward or swipe in the opposite direction to reverse a track on Spotify.
There are live wallpapers that react to your motions, you can wave or even tickle a Pokémon and it will react. It’s a gimmick but one that although seldom used will definitely make you smile when you use it.
OK then, let’s get into what makes the Pixel phones, the camera.
Now last year’s Google Pixel 3 and 3XL cameras were the best smartphone cameras before Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Plus came into existence.
And while Google is unmatched in its computational photography, its integration with the hardware in the past has been a mixed result.
Well, the Google Pixels are back, this time with two cameras at the back and one at the front.
The first one is the same as last year’s Pixel 3 which is a 12 Megapixel wide-angle lens with F 1.7 aperture and the brand new camera, 16 Megapixels Telephoto lens F 2.4 aperture that provides the pixel 4 with a 2X optical zoom.
Google claims the new night sight feature is capable of taking photos of the stars. That’s right! You can be an Astro-photographer just by taking pictures with your Pixel 4 phone.
Other improvements include a live preview of what your HDR photo will look like before you take it.
There are now dual sliders that allow you to adjust highlights and shadows in the viewfinder instead of just the overall exposure.
The front-facing camera is a single 8 MP camera with a wider field of view.
On the video side of things, there is a new video transcription option that live captions your videos as you record them. Cool right!
From the sample pictures shown in the keynote, I’d say Google is poised to retake its crown as the Smartphone camera King.
There is a Neural Core Processor chip that processes all the information locally on the phone.
The Pixel 4 comes in three different colors Black, White, and Orange. Google calls the orange one Oh! So Orange.
The Pixel 4 64GB starts at $799 and the Pixel 4XL starts at $899.
Google’s Pixel 4 flagships have interesting features that will be tested once we get our hands on them. So stay tuned for the review