The latest update to the flagship Google Pixel builds on its previous strengths, but sadly also does not improve on some of its weaknesses, which for a phone with a premium price tag is surprising. So, let’s look at the positives first. As with previous Pixel’s the camera setup is class leading. Despite only being a dual array, the AI that goes on behind the scenes means you nearly always get great shots.
The main lens is a 12mp f/1.7 backed up by a 16mp f2.4 telephoto lens that gives a 8X zoom. The Super Res Zoom (a mixture of optical and software processing) produces far superior images to the Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone 11 Pro.
Other good points include Face Unlock, A very fast replacement for fingerprint security (that is not present on the Pixel 4). This 3D system combines infrared cameras, a flood illuminator and a dot projector to reliably and securely identify your face.
Motion gestures are fast becoming the norm. These allow you to control your phone without needing to touch it and the Pixel 4 follows this trend. You can wave your hand above the screen to do things like skip tracks in Spotify or snooze an alarm. It also works in conjunction with Face Unlock, so that when you reach for the phone it will automatically enable the software to be ready to read your face.
The Not So Good
We’ve looked at the good, but what about the not so good? Firstly, the display. Although it is the first device capable of refreshing the screen at 90Hz (compared to the norm of 60), this only works when the display brightness is set above 75%, otherwise it reverts to 60HZ.
However, it is in the brightness that the Pixel 4 falls down. While this isn’t a big problem inside, go outside on a bright day and you will struggle to see the screen.
The other area of concern is the battery, it is a lowly 2800 mAH – smaller that in the Pixel 3. Which leaves this pricey flagship lacking in the longevity stakes when compared to the Apples and Samsungs of this world.
So, is it worth buying? Make no mistake, this is a nice phone with a superb camera and leading-edge face recognition and gesture display technology. But, there a number of things about it that may make you stop and consider other options before you buy.