Google Pixel 4 in the test Review

Conclusion

The Google Pixel 4 performs well in our test. Convinced us was the liquid 90-hertz display and the very fast face recognition. The camera, in combination with the excellent software, also provides outstanding results, especially in the low-light range. Disappointing, however, is the very short battery life, especially among the flagships from 2019. For around 749 euros, the Google Pixel 4 in the base variant is also very expensive and also offers too little device memory. Those who can do without pure Android and Day 1 updates are better off with one of our alternatives.

advantages

  • Very fluid display with 90 hertz
  • Excellent camera quality
  • Class loudspeaker with full sound

disadvantage

  • Enormously short battery life
  • Low memory
  • Wide upper display edge

Google Pixel 4 in the test: One of the last of its kind

If you get the Google Pixel 4 out of its minimalist packaging, you immediately notice the very high-quality processing of the smartphone: Google always uses glass on the back; however, in the black version of the device this is glossy, while the white and the limited orange model are equipped with frosted glass. The latter helps to avoid fingerprints, which almost magically attracts the black model. The frame of the device is also finished in matt black for all color options. The colored power button represents a successful contrast to the respective device color and completes the design of the smartphone well.

Striking are the dimensions of the device: With a length of 147 millimeters and a width of 69 millimeters (screen size: 5.7 inches), the Google Pixel 4 is one of the last really handy current flagship. In addition, it is quite light with a weight of 161 grams, despite glass back and current hardware. This may also be due to the very small battery.

Pixel 4: Large screen edge for innovative technology

Above the screen, Google Pixel 4 has a relatively wide display border. Thus, the design of the front is not on the level of competition and looks aesthetically unbalanced. But the screen edge is reasonably broad, because Google installed in Pixel 4 innovative and partly brand new technology. To the left of the earpiece, the brightness sensor and a front camera are located. To the right of the earpiece, Google is installing a radar for the first time in a smartphone, along with two infrared sensors designed to ensure fast and secure 3D face recognition. While one knows the technology from airplanes and submarines, in order to recognize objects in the closer circle, the pixel recognizes thereby hand movements in the proximity of the Smartphone. So far, the full potential of the radar is not exhausted

Among the previous features of the radar include:

  • If you move your hand to the left or right above the smartphone display, you can fast forward or rewind music.
  • When locked, the smartphone detects whether the user’s hand is approaching the smartphone, and prepares all sensors for unlocking even before the hand reaches the smartphone. If the smartphone is then taken in hand, unlocking works much faster.
  • If the phone is set to automatically switch to standby mode after a short while, the radar will help: Before the smartphone turns off, the radar will check if the user is reading or watching something and leaving the display in this Case still activated. Only when the user no longer looks at the screen or completely removes the smartphone does the automatic standby mode recur.
  • A nice gimmick: Pixel 4 lets you set an exclusive Pokémon live wallpaper. In addition to the always up-to-date information on the weather and the time of day, this always shows an animated pikachu or other Pokémon of choice. The radar now allows the user to wave to or petting the Pokémon character. The animated character responds depending on the action of the user.

The radar works reliably in our field test, but the hand has to be moved very fast. So if you wave your Pokémon too slowly, you will not get any greetings back.

The face recognition is also very reliable: In our test, it turns out to be a faster alternative to Apple’s Face ID , without sacrificing the security of an infrared scan. One of the reasons for this is the already described early activation of the corresponding sensors by the radar. In addition, Google allows the user to choose whether the smartphone after the successful recognition of the face still needs to be unlocked manually, or automatically the lock screen disappears.

Google Pixel 4: You do not want to get away from this screen anymore

After turning on the power, a 5.7-inch display in 19: 9 format lights up. Thanks to the more compact screen size, the Pixel 4 has a Full HD Plus resolution (2,280 x 1,080 pixels) and even achieves a fairly high pixel density of 450.6 ppi. Something to criticize is the maximum display brightness: At 449 cd / m² is final. When the sun shines directly on the screen, reading image content is a bit of a challenge. In addition, the Pixel 4, owed to the fairly wide upper display edge, only reaches a display surface ratio of 78.2 percent. By comparison, the current Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus reaches about 89 percent.

But a special feature brings the screen of the Pixel 4 with itself, which was previously only in gaming smartphones from Razer and Asus or in the latest OnePlus devices was represented: Google has raised the refresh rate from 60 to 90 hertz. The user sees 30 frames more in one second. The effect is clear: The operation of the smartphone looks smoother and when scrolling, the picture literally sticks to the finger. Anyone who has gotten used to the fact that a smartphone display with 90 Hertz works will hardly want to go back to the classic 60 Hertz.

Liquid operation despite low RAM

Traditionally, Google upgraded the built-in hardware Pixel 4 also back to the current standard: So tinkers inside the device, the processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855th The hardware works fast: Whether chatting, watching videos or gambling games, the smartphone does its job and remains always sovereign. For the computing power in the processor provide a total of eight cores and a clock rate of up to 2.84 gigahertz.

The processor is supported by six gigabytes of RAM. This has grown by two gigabytes compared to its predecessor, Pixel 3 (XL) . We would have liked this memory already in the models last year, because it seems as if Google always lags behind a Smartphone generation, when it comes to the size of the main memory: While most flagships from 2018 sat on at least six gigabytes of RAM, built Google still only four gigabytes. Meanwhile, most of the rival models are equipped with eight gigabytes or more, while the Pixel 4 now works with six gigabytes. Nevertheless: for Android 10 QSix gigabytes of RAM are sufficient. However, it remains to be seen what future software versions of Android will look like, for which Google guarantees its pixel smartphones.

The pixel now sees the stars

One of the main arguments for buying a Google Pixel smartphone has always been the excellent camera quality. While the built-in hardware was never really outstanding, Google’s photo software always conjured up high-contrast, color-realistic images. Since Pixel 3 , a separate chip is working in the smartphones for the post-processing of images.

For the first time comes a pixel smartphone with more than one camera lens on the back. The dual-camera system consists of a 12-megapixel main lens and a 16-megapixel telephoto lens, the latter offering twice the optical zoom. Both camera lenses are optically stabilized. Despite the excellent image results, the Google Pixel 4 achieved in the category “Camera” only the grade of 1.3 instead of the top grade, since no videos in 4K resolution with 60 frames per second can be recorded.

Google justifies this mainly because of such videos, the free space is occupied very quickly. Google falls a bit back with this statement, since the available memory versions for a flagship from 2019 are too small. And who now thinks that taken pictures and videos can be easily saved again for free in original quality on Google Photos, is also disappointed here: Google grants the user only unlimited storage space on Google Photos in the default quality “big” and no longer in the original quality, as it is still the Google Pixel 3the case was. For images of a smartphone whose camera is to produce according to the manufacturer with the best results, but makes exactly this difference in detail between “big” and “original” a lot.

Since a large part of the excellent image quality of pixel smartphones is generated by the software, at least Google puts back here: The night mode, the manufacturer has added an Astro-photography mode. This makes it possible to take a clear picture of the starry sky and even be able to see the Milky Way. However, the mode can also be used in other situations to produce a massively brighter picture. If the scene is dark enough and the smartphone is secure, the Astro mode automatically starts. If this is triggered, the smartphone records for a little over four minutes on a lot of long exposure footage and overlays it by software on top of each other. It takes up to 270 seconds to complete the image, but the result is worth it: In our review, the Pixel 4 even surpasses thisHuawei P30 Pro , the former LowLight king, and thus sits down with his big brother Pixel 4 XL to the top.

While a new camera lens has been added to the back, Google has made a camera lens disappear on the front. The Pixel 3 (XL) from 2018 came to enjoy an additional ultra-wide-angle front camera came, the Pixel 4 must do without it. Although the built-front camera is also very wide-angle, but does not capture as much content on an image as the ultra-wide angle from the predecessor. The autofocus for the front camera has disappeared.

A power bank is always a must

The battery capacity of Google Pixel 4 is just 2,800 mAh. That’s around 200 mAh less than in last year’s Google Pixel 3 , which already could not shine through an outstanding battery life. In addition, the display consumes noticeably more power due to the 50 percent higher refresh rate. All this did not suggest good battery levels. But with a score of less than 6.5 hours in our test, the smartphone even disappointed our already low expectations. It is thus one of the 2019 flagships with the lowest maturities.

After all, we find in the category “battery” no further disappointments. Pixel 4 takes less than two hours to fully charge: after just 109 minutes, the display returns to 100 percent. After 30 minutes, the battery is almost half charged again. The pixel can also be filled wirelessly. Although only 5 watts of charging power flow into the battery, provided that the device does not charge on the 79-euro “pixel stand”, it is also compatible with other wireless chargers.

Speaking of charging power: The supplied power adapter can supply up to 18 watts. While this is not an improvement on the latest generations of pixel models, it is perfectly adequate. Especially when you consider that Apple only since this year in the Pro models a fast charger with 18 watts mitliefert. Huawei, Samsung and other manufacturers are already here: 25 watts at the Note 10 Plus or 40 watts in the P30 Pro .

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