Hands on with the Google Pixel 4 & XL

With a beautiful OLED screen, dual camera setup, all day battery and clever Quick Gestures, there’s loads to love about Google’s latest smartphones.

14 Oct 2019

It’s no secret that Google have been planning to release new phones to succeed the brilliant Pixel 3 & Pixel 3 XL. We’ve seen leaked images and videos appear online, along with a whole host of great sounding features the new phones are rumoured to have.

Now, two new devices have been unveiled at the much anticipated Made by Google event: Google Pixel 4 & Pixel 4 XL. But what’s new about the latest instalment in Google’s line of smartphones?

pixel 4 cameras

Google Pixel 4 design

Put simply, the design of the new Pixel handset is gorgeous. Whichever colour you choose, there’s a colour-contrasting power button on the side that really makes the handset stand out. Each colour option has a black band around the edges, adding a stylish finish to the white and orange variants. Above all, the square camera setup on the back of the device looks sleek and doesn’t protrude too far from the handset body.

Next-level display

What about the screen? The Pixel 4 has a 5.7-inch FHD+ OLED screen, while the 4 XL features a 6.3-inch Quad HD+ OLED display. Both have a 90 Hz refresh rate, making both handsets perfect if you love to game on-the-go. And with an A+ rating from DisplayMate, both screens are strong contenders for best smartphone display on the market.

The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL come in three colours: Just Black, Clearly White, and the limited edition Oh So Orange. 


How good is the Pixel 4 camera?

Whether you favour a compact, pocketable handset or a bigger entertainment-ready device for long commutes, there’s no difference between the Pixel 4 and XL’s camera setup. Both phones feature a dual 12MP wide lens and a 16MP 2x telephoto zoom lens, while Pixel Neural Core, Google’s dedicated image processor chip takes care of the hard work.

Take photos of the galaxy

It may not be the triple-camera setup that most flagships are boasting right now, but that doesn’t mean your photos and videos lose detail. With the all new astrophotography mode that works with the already popular Night Sight, you’ll get crystal clear photos of the sky at night, even when pointing the lenses directly upwards with minimal light. In fact, there is a flash on the back of the handset, but Google are hoping that you only need to use it as a torch.

Get better pictures with Dual Exposure

With Dual Exposure, getting that perfect sunset shot is no longer about trial and error. It’ll capture both smiling faces and beautiful backdrops with great focus and lighting, so you don’t need to choose between foreground and background detail.

What's the Pixel 4 like to use?

Everything you do on the Pixel 4 feels super-fast and responsive. It’s the first Android smartphone to ship with the new Android 10, so you can expect a much cleaner looking and easier-to-navigate browsing experience.

More from Google Assistant

Google Assistant has been given an update, too. There’s improved integration between the smart assistant and the apps on your phone, so saying ‘Hey Google’ will happen even more naturally. For instance, if you’ve booked flights or a train ticket on your phone, you can say “Hey Google, what time does my train get in?” or “What time does my flight land?” You can then share this info directly with a friend, so they’re ready to pick you up. All that, without even touching the screen.

Motion Sense

Pixel 4 is also the first ever phone to include a radar sensor, and it’ll completely revolutionise how we engage with our devices. Amazingly, you don’t even need to touch the handset to switch tunes or hit the snooze on your morning alarm. With Motion Sense, simply waving your hand in front of the screen is all that’s needed to skip tracks or silence phone calls. And that’s only the beginning. As more apps are developed with Motion Sense in mind, you’ll be able to do more without touching your phone.


What are the top features of the Pixel 4?

Pixel 4 night sky

Voice Recorder

We love the Pixel 4’s Voice Recorder software. When you open the voice recorder, it’ll record the audio and take down the dictation at the same time. It’s ideal when you’re in a lecture or important meeting and means you won’t need to frantically jot notes anymore.

You can even search recordings for a particular word and the Pixel 4 will take you straight to that exact point in the recording. And the best bit? It all happens on the device itself, so you can even use it in airplane mode – handy if your lecture theatre has poor WiFi signal.

Face unlock

Another feature we love about the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL is the newly refined face unlock system. For many smartphones, face unlocking requires you to pick up the phone, pose very specifically, and then swipe to get to the home screen.

Pixel 4 recognises when you want to unlock your phone and cuts out all the unnecessary swiping and posing. As soon as you pick the handset up, it’ll unlock – even if you’re holding it upside-down or landscape.

More memory

We’re doing more and more on our smartphones these days, so it’s important that our phones can keep up with the pace of our daily lives. Both the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL come with 6 GB RAM, meaning you’ve got the power to multitask away without ever being slowed down.

And with both 64 GB and 128 GB storage options, you’ll never have to delete apps or photos to make room for new downloads.

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