Google Pixel 4 XL Specs
- Size: 75.1 x 160.4 x 8.2mm
- Weight: 193 grams
- Screen: QHD+ OLED 90Hz, 537ppi
- Display: 6.3 inches
- Resolution: 1440 x 3040 pixels
- Processor: Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 64GB or 128GB
- Operating System: Android 10
- Cameras: 12.2+16MP dual rear cameras, 8MP front-facing camera
- Battery: 3,700 mAh
- Charging: 18 W/2 A USB Type-C™ charger
Design and screen:
Like its smaller sibling, the Pixel XL 4 looks sleek thanks to the metal and glass combination. The aluminium sides have a textured black coating, which helps with grip, and there are three colours to choose from: black, white, and orange. Opting for the non-black shades provides colour contrast that looks lovely and unlike other handsets the glass back manages to feel smooth and tactile on every model. The Pixel XL 4 is a big phone that nevertheless feels comfortable in one’s hand, making navigation easy, even one-handed. The fingerprint sensor is now gone, replaced by Face Unlock and the cameras are configured in a square on the back of the handset. All the design features have been streamlined to create a simple yet elegant look.
The screen is a good size at 6.3 inches, though it’s not the biggest at a time when most premium handsets come in at 6.5+ inches. It has a refresh rate of 90Hz, creating an impressively smooth experience. Streaming TV shows and viewing photos is a real pleasure on the Pixel 4 XL’s OLED screen; it also benefits from Ambient EQ, a new feature that automatically adjusts the colour temperature to its surroundings, like the iPhone 11. It certainly enhances the user experience in a subtle way.
Performance and processor:
Google’s Pixel 4 XL has one of the best processors on the market though it has now been replaced by the marginally faster Snapdragon 855+. Still, when it comes to daily tasks, you can expect a quick and responsive experience. If past models are anything to go by, then you can expect the device to remain fast for a good few years as Google promises three years of software upgrades.
The 6GB of RAM doesn’t pose any problems with performance, remaining fast through games and the like. The problems start when we get to storage as the Pixel 4 XL offers 64GB as a starter, with 128GB costing more. Casual users may not mind the lower amount of storage, but game lovers will suffer. It’s worth noting that there is no microSD slot either, so you’re stuck with whatever memory option you pay for.
There are a few cool new features that are worth mention. Firstly, there’s Live Caption, which, as it sounds, can provide captions on whatever video is being watched. The fact that it works on both online and offline videos is impressive and means that all the language processing takes place on the device, the sound doesn’t travel outside of the handset. There’s also Soli radar technology enabling users to control alarms and music by gesturing across the device. Cool though it is in theory, it’s not sophisticated in practice; it’s glitchy and not as responsive as it needs to be.
Another glitchy feature is Face Unlock – a real issue considering that it’s one of two ways to unlock the device. Using it becomes frustrating fast as it just doesn’t work that well. It will struggle to unlock your device too often, and because it’s not a biometric supported by banks, you can’t use it with Google Pay. Certainly not ideal.
The Pixel 4 XL’s dual camera set up produces beautiful photos, full of contrast and high-resolution detail. You have the option to alter background and foreground brightness manually, and portrait mode has been improved too. Night Sight makes taking pictures even in difficult light conditions easy, with the photos looking bright and clear most of the time. The front camera has a wider angle than most phones, fitting more into each shot. Overall, the camera works well, especially for the casual user, but it doesn’t compare to the three-camera set up of other premium models like the Huawei P30 Pro.
Battery and charging:
When it comes to the battery, the Google Pixel 4 XL delivers its biggest disappointment. A full charge is promised to last about 26 hours – not too bad, right? Regular to heavy usage drains the battery fast, losing about 50% of its charge in 8 hours. This means that most people will need to charge it once per day and may need to be wary when going out as it might not make it to the early hours of the morning, which is all a little sad at a time when Apple’s iPhone 11 Max can survive for about 48 hours.
Price and release date:
The Google Pixel 4 XL costs £829 for the 64GB storage model and £929 for 128GB storage, and it was released on October 24th, 2019. At first glance, it is more reasonably priced than other premium handsets but, as our review makes it clear, it also lacks a lot of high-end features that come with a high price. There are plenty of deals to be had when it comes to contracts, though be prepared to pay an upfront fee.
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