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Google Announces The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL: The 2019 Pixels
[Image: 20191015_115315_678x452.jpg]

Today Google announced the new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL flagship devices, representing Google's vision for 2019 and 2020. The new phones upgrade the hardware to the latest and greatest, such as introducing a new 90Hz display. The new phones come with a new design language that does differ more significantly from its predecessors, with some risky choices in terms of the new features that the new generation drops as well as adopts.

As always, Google prides itself in the camera of the Pixel phones and this year we kinda saw the new Pixel go against the flow of industry trends, and instead of adopting a much hyped ultra-wide-angle module, Google doubled down on a new telephoto camera. However Google's forte remains software, and here alongside new camera features, Google also brings new features to the table, such as a new upgraded voice recognition aided by machine learning that's been used both for the new Assistant, as well as new apps such as the live transcription recorder app.

Starting off with the hardware, Google's Pixel 4 and 4 XL are both powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855. It's always a bit awkward to see the Pixel phones' launch schedule to be out of sync with the SoC generation launch schedule, but as in the past Pixel iterations it seems it hasn't handicapped Google's success with the devices too much.

Google upgrades the DRAM of the new models to 6GB of LPPD4X, and offers the models in storage variants of 64GB and 128GB of NAND. The latter is a bit unfortunate as we saw a lot of vendors move on to base storage models of 128GB this year, and the 128GB version does come at a $100 premium.

Other internal hardware changes aren't quite as attractive. Google, like many other vendors this year, wasn't able to integrate new WiFi 6 (802.11ax) into the phones this year, which is a pity.

The battery capacities of the phones is also quite odd in terms of the changes made between the two generations: While the 4 XL now increases the battery capacity from 3430mAh to 3700mAh, the regular Pixel 4 actually decreases the capacity from 2915mAh to 2800mAh, which is now among the smallest batteries out there even though it remains a smaller device. The new capacities aren't very impressive when we consider that the new phones advertise 90Hz as a new feature of the display.

90Hz as shown off by OnePlus and a few other vendors this year has been touted as a killer feature, and in my opinion it does add a fantastic new aspect to user experience. Google's implementation doesn't have all applications running at 90Hz all the time - it's only available in a select amount of apps, which I'll still have to dwell into more thoroughly. In my short time since I had the phone I did notice that it's very conservative in its enablement, basic applications such as the browser seem not to be enabled for 90Hz. Thankfully, Google does have an option to force on 90Hz all the time in the developer options which makes things a lot more straightforward in terms of taking advantage of the new hardware capability.

The displays come in a new aspect ratio of 19:9 which elongates things a bit compared to last year's 18:9 and 18.5:9 aspects of the Pixel 3 and 3 XL. Resolution remains 1080p for the Pixel 4, and 1440p for the Pixel 4 XL - which makes sense in terms of their resulting PPIs.
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