Google Pixel 4 Vs 4 XL: The Difference You Should Know

Google Pixel 4 Vs 4 XL

In this article, I am reviewing 2 mobile phones Google Pixel 4 Vs 4 XL. Both smartphones are very good but I will tell you which has better value.

Pixel 4Pixel 4 XL
BUY NOWBUY NOW
PROSPROS
Class-leading cameras. Smooth 90Hz display. Effective Face Unlock. Clever AI software features.Excellent camera. 90-Hz refresh rate. Clever Motion Sense feature. Available from every carrier.
CONSCONS
Disappointing battery life. Relatively dim display. Motion Sense gestures need work. No unlimited photo storage and original quality.Display is pretty dim. No more unlimited photo storage at original quality.

BASIC SPECS

Pixel 4Pixel 4 XL
Released 2019, OctoberReleased 2019, October
162g, 8.2mm thickness193g, 8.2mm thickness
Android 10.0Android 10.0
64GB/128GB storage, no card slot64GB/128GB storage, no card slot
5.7″ Display6.3″ Display
6GB RAM / Snapdragon 8556GB RAM / Snapdragon 855
2800mAh3700mAh

DESIGN & BUILD

The pixel design has been refined for a more sleek interminable look. Now it’s just a single glass sheet for the rear panel.

The aluminium frame has a matte black finish with all three colors but I have to say this feels really good in the hand.

On the left side, we have the single SIM card slot which means we have no expandable storage here. The phones are offering just 64 GB of storage in the baseline models. Also Google is not offering unlimited photo storage for original quality images this year. So they are pushed towards forcing you to buy photo storage is pretty clear.

The right side of the phone features the power button and 2 volume buttons which are still nice and clicky.

At the bottom of the phone features the microphone and speaker grilles, alongside the USB-C charging port.

The phones have Gorilla Glass 5 for the front and rear panels and offer the same IP68 water resistance from last year.

What has changed though are the speakers which still support stereo playback. The speaker’s sounds pretty decent and loud.

Google’s active edge returns this year and offers beautiful haptic feedback which again adds to how nice this phone feels in the hand and I really wish more phones had a feature like this.

Overall, I think these are two of the nicest looking phones of 2019. The only thing letting them down though are the front displays.


FACE UNLOCK

The pixel 4 and 4 Xl have matching front display designs and I do prefer this to the bulky notch of the 3 XL. However, that thick forehead really stands out in a sea of much more modern looking phones in 2019.

Google are facing the same problem as Apple though, that’s a thick forehead is necessary to house the new sensors and components for face unlock and motion sense.

The pixels face unlock uses infrared sensors, so is the more secure unlock method like apples Face ID which can’t be fooled by pictures of you as with some other Android devices. This allowed Google to remove the fingerprint scanner from the back of the phone and use face unlock for secure payments and app unlocks.

What I Love About Face Unlock?

It’s incredibly sensitive and fast which means I don’t have to hold the phone at a very specific angle to unlock it. It’s by far the fastest unlock method I’ve used that will take you straight to the home screen without needing to press a single button or tap the screen.

What I Don’t Love About Face Unlock?

The face unlock is too sensitive. Sometimes it get unlocked by just glancing even when I don’t want to unlock the phone.

Second, the face unlock doesn’t require attention to unlock the phone which means that you could unlock the phone even with your eyes closed. This thing you should consider if you are not using PIN.


MOTION SENSE

The major new component build into the top bezel is soli radar chip and this enables a couple of new features.

The phone will detect when you’re near and illuminates the always-on display. The screen otherwise turns black when you’re away from your phone which saves somr battery life. The always-on display is already a fantastic Android feature.

When you approach to pick up your phone the radar will detect this motion and activate the cameras and sensors to start searching for you which is part of how the face unlock is so fast.

You can also use motion gestures by waving your hand over your device to skip songs, stop alarms, and etc.


DISPLAY

PIXEL 4PIXEL 4 XL
5.7″ FHD+ OLED Display6.3″ QHD+ OLED Display
2280×1080 (444 ppi)3040×1440 (537 ppi)
100,000 : 1 Contrast Ratio100,000 : 1 Contrast Ratio
16 M Colors16 M Colors
Up to 90 Hz Refresh RateUp to 90 Hz Refresh Rate
Ambient EQ Ambient EQ
HDR SupportHDR Support

The display is actually fairly decent. Both displays are OLED with improved colors from last year but the resolution is higher in the XL model which has a 1440p display.

Indoors, the display looks really nice but even its maximum brightness the screen is quite dim and it can be hard to see in bright sunlight.

There’s a new Ambient EQ setting which automatically adjusts the white balance based on the lighting conditions.

The new feature here is the 90 Heartz refresh rate which makes navigating the phone extremely smooth and has the potential to be the phone’s best feature. The display is adaptive, which means that it will change between 90 and 60 Hertz depending on your usage. So most of the time, the display won’t actually be in 90 Hertz. You can force the display to remain at 90 Hertz to get the best viewing experience but sadly the battery will die soon.


BATTERY

PIXEL 4PIXEL 4 XL
Battery2800 mAh3700 mAh
Screen On Time6 Hours8.5 Hours
Wired Charging Time1 Hour 50 Mins1 Hour 50 Mins
Wireless Charging Time3 Hours3 Hours 45 Mins

With the announcement that the pixel 4 would have an even smaller battery than last year, a lot of us were anxious about the phone’s potential battery life.

I was getting just about two full day’s use at best and only around 6 hours of screen on time which is pretty poor by today’s standards.

I should emphasize that the pixel 4 XL doesn’t suffer nearly as much as the regular 4 and it’s battery life is still in the average at best its performs much better than the pixel 4.

For anyone who wants a new pixel which might be concerned about reaching a full day of use, Pixel 4 XL is definitely the way to go.


CAMERA

pixel 4 and 4xl camera

The greatest strength of this mobile is the camera. And there is no difference in both phone’s.

Google have build on their fantastic camera from last year which achieved more in a single lens than most phones couldn’t in several.

The pixel maintained its lead over the competition for a long time but has since been overtaken by the iPhone. So Google have made some improvements in an attempt to reclaim the topspot.

PIXEL 4PIXEL 4 XL
Main lens12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
Telephoto lens16 MP, f/2.4, 50mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom 16 MP, f/2.4, 50mm (telephoto), 1/3.6″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom

The fourth generation of pixel brings a wider aperture and some software improvements to it’s main lens but you will also see the introduction of an additional telephoto lens. What’s odd to me is the decision to include a telephoto lens alongside the main one, as opposed to an ultra-wide.

If the telephoto lens at least had some zoom capabilities, like we have seen with phones from Huawei, but it’s still only 2x optical zoom, ultra-wide offers much more versatility in your photography, so it’s a downside that it dosen’t have ultra-wide lens.

Portrait Mode:

Portrait mode returns in this model, where again the pixel is one of the leading smartphones in it’s field. Producing sharp images with a really nice background blur, the pixel 4 uses the telephoto lens for added depth information but I still didn’t see a drastic difference from the pixel 3.

Video Recording:

Video on the pixel of 4 is still sadly nowhere near the level of its photo taking capabilities and it struggles with the bit-rate and noise. I wouldn’t expect iPhone level performances here which is still miles ahead of the competition but there are other Android devices offering more capable video recording from their cameras.

You can only record in up to 4k 30 FPS and Google have stated that 60 FPS video was not included due to how much storage space this format would occupy. In my opinion, this decision should be left to the consumer, if people want to use their storage to record in 4k 60, it should be able to do so.

Front-facing video is also capturted at 1080p 30 FPS, so Google are quite far behind the competition, when it comes to video recording.

Night Mode:

Now you can use this mode with telephoto lens, so night sights becomes a bit more versatile this year.

The pixel can illuminate even the darkest of photos but it’s the brilliant color and vibrancy that makes it one of my favorite low-light modes on a smartphone. The main camera already does a pretty decent job with low-light images but switching over to night sight really brings your photos to life.


SOFTWARE & PERFORMANCE

In terms of performance, both the phones have been refreshed with the Snapdragon 855 chip. The RAM has also been increased to 6 GB which gives the phone a little boost when it comes to handling multiple apps in the background. In my experience, so far has been pretty seamless.

The performance upgrades are modest and the test scores reflect this too but they’re also no less than was needed for what this phone was designed for. Gamers and video editors who want to look elsewhere.

You’ll probably notice the biggest improvement with Pixels Neural Core which processes the new live HDR+ as well as a few other new software features. For example, it is responsible for powering a smarter and more capable Google Assistant. It can handle multiple tasks on the device itself rather than needing to first communicate with Google’s servers and as a result responses are noticeably faster.

There’s also a new recorder app which can automatically transcribe speech in real time. It detects your voice very quickly and is also highly accurate even when speaking naturally. You can like to search through voice notes by keywords to quickly find the one you’re after and this is easily the best recording app I’ve used on a phone.

Being a Google phone, the pixel 4 gets Android 10 straight away and will be the first receive feature updates too, so you’ll immediately be able to take advantage of the new aesthetic, new gestures, dark mode, and all of the other features of the new software.

The pixel version of Android is by far my favorite. I just love the refined and sleek aesthetic but of course this is fully customizable. I also love that the phone is free from bloatware, so there’s a super fast and clean experience straight out of the box. The software and performce make the pixels such an enjoyable device to use.


PRICE & AVAILABILITY

Pixel 4Pixel 4 XL
BUY – $599 (64GB Variant)BUY – $800 (64GB Variant)
BUY – $899 (128GB Variant)BUY $930 (128GB Variant)

Google’s pixel phones always had an edge over the high-end flagship smartphones when it came to the price. The pixel 4 is available from $799 and the 4 XL model from $899.

I personally love the form factor of the smaller 4 but the higher resolution display and significantly improved battery life make the XL worth the extra $100.

With the pixel 4 issues largely centered on that poor battery life. Google have made things difficult for themselves with their pricing.

An immediate comparison to draw is to Apple’s iPhone 11, clearly a direct competitor to the pixel 4 that offers arguably a lot more and in an even cheaper package. Here I am sharing the PIXEL 4 VS iPHONE 11.

There are also other Android devices like the oneplus 7 series or the Galaxy S10e that are could be superior devices and cost less money than these pixel devices.

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