Google Pixel 4XL review
Motion Sense and Android 10
Our Google Pixel 4 XL review takes a closer look at the new Pixel phone. New design elements, an immersive display, and a revamped camera setup make this Google phone a real contender for your next phone upgrade.
Revamped look and immersive display
The Google Pixel 4 XL gives you a 6.3-inch display with a resolution of 1440 x 30400 pixels. The aspect ratio of 19:9 gives you an immersive viewing experience online as additional lines are displayed, this means less scrolling around. The screen really takes you into gaming action and video clips are displayed in widescreen style when using the phone in landscape mode.
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The new Pixel 4 XL smartphone sees a revamped look by moving the fingerprint sensor off the back and a unique camera design. The smooth lines of the back give the phone a clean and sleek look. The camera sensors have gone into a bezel, so Google has moved away from the pinhole or notch trend.
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The Google Pixel 4 XL is available in Just Black, Clearly White, and Oh So Orange. The phone weighs 193g and measuring 8.2mm thick, the phone is slim and compact.
Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 (7nm) processor. There is 6GB RAM onboard and you can choose from 64GB or 128GB model variants. You have to pay attention to how much memory you want as there is no memory card slot on the Google Pixel 4 XL.
Phone Set Up
The Pixel phones have commonly had the fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone. Google opted to go another way and include facial recognition instead. Enhanced with Motion Sense, you simply pick up the phone to unlock it. The highly efficient processor and AI system mean the phone does this without delay.
Facial recognition can also be used for particular apps so only you can access them. You can also link it with Google Pay so that your payments require facial recognition before being processed.
The Google Pixel 4 Xl gives you the new radar sensor placed on the front bezel above the screen. The sensor works with Motion Sense so you can use the phone without actually having to touch it. Quick Gestures allows you to:
Snooze and silence - when a call comes in you can silence it or if an alarm goes off you can wave your hand over the phone to snooze it.
Navigate music - hand motions across the screen allow you to play music or skip a track so you control your playlist.
That is the extent of the Motion Sense feature for now, but we can expect new features to roll out an update on the Google Pixel 4 XL.
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As with previous releases, Google uses the Pixel range to debut the latest Android OS. The Google Pixel 4 XL is an Android 10 smartphone. You get the latest OS features and apps along with updates as soon as new things come out. Top features of Android 10 include:
You will have seen a number of the digital wellbeing features on Android 9. Google has stated that users have been setting usage limits and sticking to them on previous models. Because of this, more features have been included in Android 10. Family Link allows you to monitor the various family members' usage times from the Digital Wellbeing app rather than using a separate one. Focus Mode allows you to choose things you find most distracting and switch them off.
We had a version of the Dark Mode with Android 9 but Google has gone even further on the new OS. The feature will now apply to both apps and the UI. You will need to opt-in so it can be used on specific apps. So far YouTube, Google Calendar and Google Keep are on offer in Dark Mode. Gmail and Chrome Dark Mode support is coming out soon.
Security and Privacy
Changes to location data handling give you control on how your information is stored. Instead of the familiar opting out of location tracking, you can select it to occur when using certain apps or at certain times. The phone has the Titan M chip for protecting your private data. You also get 3 years of security and OS updates. Google Play Protect also scans apps to make sure everything is OK when you download it and continually monitors it.
With the Google Pixel 4 XL, you get a bonus with access to 3 months membership to Google One for free. It includes 100GB cloud storage. A very handy thing if you take lots of photos or like to have lots of music on hand. Access to Google Experts is included so you can get help and advice across all of your Google devices.
You can include up 5 family members on the plan and all of your information is backed up. Everything is protected by highly secure software. You also get benefits such as a percentage of cashback on purchases in the Google Store or discount deals on things such as hotels.
Camera & Video
Studio photos without the studio
The rear camera on the Google Pixel 4 XL is a dual-lens system made up of:
- 12.2MP Dual Pixel lens with an f/1.7 aperture 28mm
- 16MP telephoto lens with an f2.4 aperture
Google has focused on delivering enhanced camera features including new Night Sight mode. This feature allows you to capture amazing low-light photos without the flash. You get clear and bright photos without the added noise in the image the flash can create.
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You can also take beautiful shots by changing the exposure in different elements of the image. It can also be done across other apps that use the camera. Portrait Mode gives you professional studio-like shots thanks to the second camera adding depth. You can blur backgrounds and capture stunning detail that you would normally only get with a DSLR.
Super Res Zoom lets you zoom in without losing detail thanks to the telephoto lens technology. You can store your favourites on Google Photos freeing up space on the phone itself.
Dual Selfie lens
You get amazing quality portraits with the front camera as this is a dual-lens too. An 8MP and TOF 3D camera capture beautiful detail and professional-looking shots. Auto-HDR will add highlight and shadow and there are many choices of filters and stickers for adding a unique finish.
The Google Pixel 4 XL has a 3,700mAh battery with Fast Charging technology. An 18W Fast Charger is included in the box so you can enjoy increased battery life in less time. The phone works with Qi-certified wireless charging but you will have to purchase a wireless charging accessory separately. If you already have a charging matt or other accessory, the Google Pixel 4 XL can wirelessly charge on it.
Next: Google Pixel 4 review
Written by: Carmel Brown