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Google Pixel 4Xl Review

The Google Pixel 4 XL represents everything that Google has learned in the first four iterations of the Google Pixel, including a mid-cycle and mid-range Pixel 3a which was very well received. This is Full Google Pixel 4Xl Review

Before we Start If You Haven’t Check Google Pixel 4Xl Price & Specifications

In The Box

The new Pixel 4 XL comes in minimally labeled packaging. A colorfully designed “P4” adorns the front of the box. Although we received the Pixel 4 in the standard retail packaging, some of the first ones to pre-order the phone had them delivered in Google-fied cereal boxes. After lifting the lid on the box, the phone is presented face down with its plastic wrapper. Under the phone is a pack of documents, which contained around SIM tool. At the bottom of the box is a USB-C Power Delivery adapter (up to 18W), USB-C cable, and USB-C to USB-A adapter – useful for transferring data from an old device. The Pixel 4 comes with neither earbuds nor a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter. We wonder why Google decided to introduce bundled earbuds with the Pixel 3, only to scrap them this year. We’d maybe understand if Google did it so customers would buy the new Pixel Buds, but they aren’t even coming until next year. Now we’re led to believe Google stopped including these Pixel earbuds to save money. Now that we’ve seen what’s inside (and what’s missing), let’s take a closer look at the Pixel 4 XL’s unique design.

CPU & Storage

Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL are running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, and they only come with 6GB of RAM. Google missed out on integrating the latest Snapdragon 855+ chipset – which is technically the same silicon, but with slightly overclocked CPU and GPU. This is a similar situation to Google’s decision to use an underclocked Snapdragon 845 on Pixel 3. If OnePlus can develop and launch a refreshed 7T with the 855+ at a super competitive price point, why can’t Google? The Snapdragon 855 used in the Pixel 4’s is built on the 7nm process and features an octa-core CPU. One quad-core low-power Kryo 485 cluster is clocked at 1.78 GHz. The second cluster has three Kryo cores clocked at 2.42 GHz and one high-power one at 2.84 GHz. Even if not the latest and greatest, the 855 is no slouch. It’s difficult to notice a difference between the Snapdragon 855 and 855+. On the upside, Google has finally updated the amount of RAM to 6GB. One complaint we had with the Pixel 3 was that apps were getting knocked out of the system memory too early. It’s nice to finally get some extra RAM, but 6GB isn’t even competitive anymore with higher-end Chinese phones coming with 8GB by standard and upwards of 12GB when maxed out. Anyway, let’s get into these numbers. Single-core performance is shy of other devices running the same processor. It finds itself in its own level below the other Snapdragon 855 and 855+ devices while the Kirin 990, Exynos 9825, and Apple A13 all exceed in single-core scores.

Camera

The Pixel was one of the only smartphone brands that continued to equip its phones with a single camera and Google claimed it only needed one camera to take great photos and portraits. The passing of time always tends to make things change, especially in the tech industry, because this year, Google added a second camera to the mix. Alongside an optically stabilized 12.2MP main camera with large 1.4-micron pixels and f/1.7 aperture is a 16MP telephoto camera (also stabilized) with 1.0-micron pixels and an f/2.4 aperture lens, which allows the Pixel 4 XL to shoot 2X zoom photos. Google’s Super Res Zoom allows it to go comfortably beyond that zoom level too. Also both cameras benefit from Google’s HDR+ algorithms for improving image quality.

Google has introduced a few new features on the Pixel’s camera. The first is Live HDR+, which should show you what your final image was going to look like in the viewfinder after it processes it. Before that, especially in more demanding situations, the live viewfinder was only really used to compose your shots, then you’d only see the resulting HDR+ photo in the camera roll. We’re glad to see this change implemented as it makes a huge difference in the picture taking process. Another new feature is dual exposure controls – baked right into the camera UI.Google Pixel 4Xl Review What’s more, now you can manually adjust the shadows and highlights as you are composing a shot, useful if you want to get a more artistic photo like the silhouette of a person against a bright background. Since Google doesn’t offer fully manual controls on the Pixel, this is a welcome feature. The feature combines well with Live HDR+ so you see the photo’s exposure before you hit capture. Apart from improvements in Night Sight and portrait mode – thanks to the second camera, “learning-based automatic white balance” is available in all shooting modes where it was previously only used in Night Sight. The camera interface is mostly unchanged from the Pixel 3. You can swipe between shooting modes and the most important ones are easily accessible: Night Sight, Portrait, Camera, Video, and a More tab containing Panorama, Photo Sphere, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, Playground, and Lens.Google Pixel 4Xl Review

Display

  While other manufacturers keep pushing screen sizes bigger and bigger, Google kept the larger Pixel 4 XL at 6.3-inches. This is the same size as the 3 XL, only the 4 XL’s slightly taller 19:9 aspect ratio makes it a teeny bit narrower. With more competitors using higher-refresh-rate displays, Google decided to join in and go with 90Hz displays on both sides of the Pixel 4. The 90Hz Smooth Display isn’t at all necessary, but it improves the fluidness and amplifies the fluidness of the phone’s operation when scrolling or swiping through feeds. The animations are also displayed at higher frame rates. Otherwise, supported games will be able to push past 60fps for a more immersive experience. The Pixel 4 XL has a 6.3-inch OLED display, and we’re happy that the notch is gone, keeping continuity with the screen’s content and simplifying the UI. If you want the sharpest image, the 4 XL gets about 537ppi with its QHD+ 1440 x 3040 px resolution. A layer of Gorilla Glass 5 protects the screen and like the Pixel 3 XL, the 4 XL is rated for HDR playback of 1440p video @ 60fps.Google Pixel 4Xl Review New to the Pixel 4 is a new “Ambient EQ” feature that tunes the display’s colors to your surroundings. The display will adjust its color balance a touch warmer if you’re hanging out around a warmly lit restaurant, for example. It’s intended to tune images to look more natural based on the surrounding light, and a good idea considering the Pixel’s camera always leaned towards cooler tones. In our brightness tests, the 4 XL peaked at 436 nits with no additional brightness boost. Those raw numbers aren’t exactly class-leading, but the phone is still easily visible in direct sunlight. It isn’t too much brighter than the Pixel 3 XL and barely reached the Pixel 3a XL’s 451 nits. You can see that other flagships from Samsung and Apple are reaching past 700 nits.

Design

Throughout its lifetime, the Pixel hasn’t exactly led design trends, but it did manage to put the world’s largest notch on the Google Pixel 3 XL last year. Even with the 4 XL, Google isn’t pushing any limits or trying to maximize the screen-to-body ratio. The Pixel 4 XL is probably what many wish the Pixel 3 XL looked like, without the fat notch. Imagine if Google took the Pixel 3 XL’s display and shifted it lower, then filled in the notch with more pixels. That’s what the Pixel 4 XL feels like, and the resulting design is still asymmetrical and not as pleasing to look at as other competitors from Samsung and even OnePlus.Google Pixel 4Xl Review The Pixel 4 XL has a large upper bezel to accommodate for a bunch of new hardware, including new Radar-based motion sensors and 3d facial recognition hardware in addition to a selfie camera. More on that in the User Interface section. Otherwise, this is undoubtedly a large bezel for a 2019 flagship, so the Motion Sense tradeoff needs to be worth this asymmetrical design choice. Google has also moved the lower front-facing speaker back to the bottom – in the same style as the original Pixel XL – and this resulted in a much smaller (but still there) lower bezel. This is the first time that Google adds a second main camera to any Nexus or Pixel phone, and it chose to go with a square island to house them. Google once claimed it didn’t need more than one camera to take portrait photos, and Super Res Zoom made up for the lack of a telephoto camera. Things have changed this year, and we’ll let you know if the telephoto camera is indeed an improvement. Many will compare the Pixel 4 XL’s dual cameras to the iPhone’s stove-top camera square, but the Pixel’s is blacked out. Its placement is coincidentally too similar. The square does protrude a bit from the body, but its location won’t rock the phone on a table very much. The Pixel 4 XL measures 160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2 mm and weighs 193g. This makes the phone only barely taller and heavier than its predecessor. The new display is also slightly taller due to the 19:9 aspect ratio (the 3 XL has 18.5:9). Otherwise, the 4 XL maintains the same IP68 water resistance rating as the 3 XL.

Battery Power

  Flagship devices have been getting much better at battery consumption in the most recent years. For some reason, Google tends to take a more conservative approach with its own line of smartphones. The Pixel 4 XL comes with a 3,700 mAh battery, which is admittedly a bump in battery size from 3,450 on the Pixel 3 XL but the 4 XL has the same size battery as the much cheaper Pixel 3a XL.Google Pixel 4Xl Review As far as battery endurance goes, the phone didn’t perform as well as we’d hoped. The Pixel 4 XL managed a score of 73h of endurance which quite meh!, especially coming in a year where most manufacturers are focusing a lot on providing longer battery life. The phone yielded a call endurance of 23:32h, which is about the same as the 3a XL did with the same size battery. Meanwhile, the browsing and video playback scores were 10:49h and 11:29h, respectively. The score below shows the Pixel 4 XL’s score with the 90Hz Smooth display enabled. When we disabled the 90Hz feature, we saw the Pixel 4 XL score a couple of hours higher on the web browsing test, but it may not translate to a significant difference in battery life.

Audio quality

Stereo speakers are the standard with the Google Pixel. With Pixel 4, the loudspeaker hardware has shifted around a bit. Where the Pixel 2 and 3 both had dual front-facing loudspeakers, the Pixel 4 has traded them in for a setup like the Pixel 3a’s. The lower front-facing speaker has been replaced with a downward-firing speaker. The Google Pixel 4 XL did excellently in the active external amplifier part of our test. It delivered the expected perfect accuracy at very high volume levels. Headphones did cause a rather big spike in stereo crosstalk and caused a tiny amount of intermodulation distortion. The other readings were barely affected though and loudness remained high, so it’s a solid performance overall. Particularly, if you compare it to Pixel 3, which was one of the poorest phones we’ve tested.

The Comparison

The Pixel 4 XL starts at $899 in the US. At this level, it is $100 below the iPhone 11 Pro and $200 more than the entry-level iPhone 11. All these phones start at 64GB of base storage and are non-expandable. This year, we have seen killer camera performance from the new iPhones. Both cameras are great and each one performs better than the other in key areas. Google Pixel 4Xl Review   This year, all iPhones have an excellent battery life, but we can’t say the same about the new Pixels. While Google was busy adding a telephoto camera to its lineup, Apple added an ultra-wide-angle camera to each new iPhone this year. If you’re looking for a polished software experience with the excellently balanced camera setup, great battery, and software, look no further than this year’s iPhones.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, color-accurate display.
  • Unique textured design.
  • Quick and reliable Face unlock.
  • Great camera performance.

Cons

  • Wonky 90Hz display execution at launch.
  • Half-baked Motion Sense features.
  • Below-average battery endurance.
  • We’re missing the ultra-wide camera.
  • No fingerprint reader while the competition has already gone through a few generations of under-display readers.
  • Face unlock can be triggered with eyes closed and it’s not yet supported by banking apps.
  • No bundled cable earbuds or an adapter.
  • Limited market availability (even more so due to the Motion Sense radar).

OverAll

 

As of now, you can find the 6GB/64GB Or 6GB/128GB configuration in stores, But For Future Protection We Suggest You Buy 6GB/128GB VariantThe Pixel 4 XL is the best that Google has to offer and if you don’t mind paying a premium price and overlooking a couple of shortcomings at launch, then you’ll be a happy camper with Google’s new phone. If you’d rather get the most out of your $899, you might want to consider getting something else.

Some Source: GSM Arena

Review Score

Display - 84%
Battery - 74%
Performance - 78%
Design - 72%
Camera - 83%
Usability - 86%

80%

A Good Phone For Gamer and Day to Day Heavy Usage

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Sohaib Asghar

Founder, Web developer, and Cinematographer. Loves to Play with Cameras and Tech Products. Runs On CHAI.

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