Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are officially available now and reviews are out all over the web. People are comparing its camera against other smartphones, and praising its software and other features. However, launch day reviews are not enough to judge a product, as some issues pop-up over time, as more users get their hands on the device. Here are all the Pixel 4 issues you should know about before buying one.
Google's Pixel 4 proudly got the title of the most leaked smartphone ever, before its official announcement. All the leaked news, photos and videos meant that the anticipation for Google's next smartphone was at an all time high. Apple also released Pixel 3 beating cameras in iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, which got everyone hyped up even more.
All everyone could say was:
iPhone 11/11 Pro camera is awesome, but Pixel 4 is around the corner.
But then the hype came crashing down. Google's Pixel 4 proudly gets the title of the most over-hyped smartphone of 2019 too.
Here are the 16 important things you should know about Pixel 4, before placing your order.
1. Bring Your Own Headphones
Despite the high price, Google does not include headphones or a 3.5mm dongle with the Pixel 4. Make sure to buy a pair of wireless or USB-C compatible headphones, if you don't have already.
2. Poor battery life
Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL have the worst-in-class battery life for flagship smartphones in 2019. Credit goes to the 90Hz display which is powered by low capacity batteries. You will definitely need to charge before the day ends.
3. Face Unlock works even with eyes closed
Pixel 4's Face Unlock works even with your eyes closed. If you are not paying attention to your phone, you could accidentally unlock your phone. Since Face Unlock is also used for App sign-in & payments, this is not good at all.
Google has promised a software update to fix this in the 'coming months'.
4. 90Hz Refresh Rate works only above 75% screen brightness
Pixel 4's 'smooth display' only remains smooth at 90Hz, if the screen brightness is above 75%, otherwise it stays below 60Hz. Google said they are working on a software fix, which should be in available in the 'coming weeks'.
5. Pixel 4 camera does not live up to the hype
Google's benchmark for previous Pixel phone's camera was DxOMark. DxOMark gave Pixel 4 just 112 points which puts it at number 9 in the top 10 list. For comparison, OnePlus 7 Pro scored 114. Even iPhone 11's Night Mode is better than Pixel 4's Night Sight.
Google says that 4K 60fps recording would take 'half a gigabyte of storage every minute' which is why they did not focus on it. Well, for a company that claims to be so 'open', they should have let users make the decision: whether they want to save storage space or utilize it for video. They could have also done better to offer the Pixel 4 in higher storage variants.
6. Disappointing Video Recording
Pixel 4 does not support 4K 60fps video capture. There is no improvement to dynamic range or stabilization. Even the front-facing camera disappoints for video capture. Meanwhile, the competition is improving considerably.
7. Gimmicky Motion Sense
Pixel 4's new Motion Sense feature does not work as well as advertised. You want to wave your hands above your phone to change songs? Better get used to touching the screen because waving might not work every time.
There are chances that Motion Sense might not even work in your region.
8. Poor display brightness
It's shocking that DisplayMate 'awarded' Pixel 4 an A+ and called it visually indistinguishable from perfect. I guess visually perfect displays do not need to be viewable under sunlight or other bright lights.
Pixel 4's OLED display has a brightness of 444 nits. To put things into perspective, iPhone 5s, released in 2013, had a display brightness of 500 nits.
9. No headphone jack
Everyone remembers when Google mocked Apple for not including a headphone jack in iPhone 7. Guess what? Pixel 4 does not have headphone jack either.
10. No ultra-wide camera
Instead of an ultra-wide camera that people love to use, Google included a 2x telephoto camera, which does not even take Portrait photos. The normal lens is used for portrait photos, even though the camera seems to zoom in.
11. No 2-way wireless charging
Got a pair of earbuds with wireless charging case? You cannot charge them with your Pixel 4. It was disappointing enough for users when Apple did not include this 'must-have' feature in iPhone 11, I'm sure people must be losing their minds that Google didn't ship Pixel 4 with this feature either.
12. No free full-quality unlimited Google Photos backups
This used to be one of the best features of Pixel smartphones. Until Pixel 3, users could get the phone and receive free unlimited photos and videos backup to Google Photos, at full quality. This is not the case anymore. You do not get free full-quality unlimited photos backup on Pixel 4.
Like the camera but stuck with a 64GB Pixel 4? You will have to pay for Google One storage for full quality backups.
13. Average storage options
It's 2019 and you can only get the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL in 64GB and 128GB storage options. There is no expandable storage, and as mentioned above, no more free full-quality unlimited backups for your photos and videos.
14. No 5G variant
The media broke their fingers while pointing out that Apple's new iPhones do not have 5G and are not future proof. Meanwhile, Pixel 4 does not have 5G either. There are news that Google might launch a 5G Pixel 4 variant, but it is probably not happening in 2019.
15. No Wi-Fi 6
Every flagship smartphone released in 2019 supports 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6.
Except Pixel 4, of course.
16. More expensive than even iPhone 11
In the United States, Pixel 4 costs $799 while the Pixel 4 XL costs $899. This is the price for the 64GB versions. On the other hand, iPhone 11 costs $699 for 64GB.
- For the price of a 64GB Pixel 4, you can actually buy a 128GB iPhone 11 or OnePlus 7 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.
- For the price of a 64GB Pixel 4 XL, you can buy a 256GB iPhone 11 or OnePlus 7 Pro with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.
You can even get the new OnePlus 7T Pro for these price ranges.
If all these issues do not matter to you, Pixel 4 is a great smartphone. It has the latest and greatest (pure) Android software experience. Google Assistant on the phone is faster than ever at understanding and recording whatever you are saying. It also provides new features which will be available later on other Android smartphones. You can even get live transcription of your audio, and the latest Android OS updates right away.
Performance might degrade over time, like Pixel 3's camera launch speed that MKBHD often spoke about, but that probably happens with all smartphones nowadays.
P.S. You can also capture the stars.