NOTE: This model is discontinued and may no longer be available to purchase new. See the latest mobile phones or compare used prices.

Google Pixel 4 review

8.2/10 AVG.
RATING



8.2/10
Informr score
The Google Pixel 4 currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 54 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Reviewers felt the Pixel 4 made a few too many compromises while trying to do too many things. For the price, it fails to excel in any one area over similarly priced competitors. Unless you’re looking for fast updates, reviews show you might want to look elsewhere.

What's good

  • Excellent display
  • Respectable performance
  • Great camera
  • Premium design

What's bad

  • No 4K60 video
  • Slow facial recognition
  • No 3.5mm to USB adapter
  • Price
  • Weak battery

Google touts its Pixel phone series as the ideal mix of hardware and software, providing a pure Android experience, rapid updates, and features not found on other smartphones. However, the competition in the mid- and high-tier phone market continues to innovate and redefine the mobile experience, does the Pixel 4 offer a compelling experience for its high-end price?

Let’s see what reviewers around the Internet have to say...

Design

Reviewers loved the latest design from Google. The IP68-rated glass and aluminum chassis provides a premium feel and the rear camera bump is visually noticeable but doesn’t cause issues when laying the phone on a flat surface.

The black variant features a glossy back panel which comes with the usual complaints of slippery grips and fingerprints everywhere. However, the orange and white variants offer a soft-touch finish which reviewers loved.

Ars Technica praised the grippier soft-touch coating, saying, “The back provides an agreeable amount of grip that you don't get with regular glass. It looks great, it stays clean, and it seems durable.”

Reviewers all agree this is the best Pixel phone design yet.

Display

As one of the major features promoted by Google, the 5.7-inch 90Hz P-OLED display running at 1080-by-2280 pixels was a mixed bag with reviewers.

For the typical specs -- color reproduction, viewing angles, clarity, and outdoor visibility -- the phone fares fine. However, the 90Hz mode which works to make the screen feel smoother didn’t impress most reviewers. This is because Google disables the feature in mid- to low-light situations. So if the refresh rate is a big selling point for you, know it might be disabled most of the time depending on your environment.

Proportions were another common complaint. The phone has nearly non-existent bezels on the sides and bottom of the phone. However, the top of the phone houses NIR sensors which power the facial recognition and motion gesture features and the phone’s camera, making for an odd look to some.

Worse still the facial recognition and gesture controls received a lot of criticism. Experts found the unlocking slow and wished for a fingerprint reader in their reviews. The gesture controls fared better. However, many reviewers noted inconsistent response to even the basic gestures on offer.

Ars Technica said, “In reality, the Pixel 4's face unlock is slow, inconsistent, and frustrating to use. Security issues were discovered almost immediately. It's an across-the-board regression compared to a fingerprint reader and a big downside to the Pixel 4.”

Performance

Powered by a 2.84Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 855 processor paired with 6GB of RAM, the phone offers enough power to run the most demanding apps or the latest graphics-intensive games. While it’s not the absolute newest processor available in 2019, it’s plenty capable and reviews indicate the phone runs nice and snappy with no overheating issues or odd performance quirks.

Yet, there are more powerful options available for a similar price. GSM Arena summarizes common reviewer opinions well, saying, “... The Pixel is reasonably powerful, but it's bested by most other high-end phones in both peak and sustained performance. If you want a phone for heavy gaming, this is not it but it should do just fine for most every day scenarios.”

Software

As Google’s headlining phone, the phone ships with the latest version of Android (10) with guaranteed updates to October 2022. Google stages its rollouts, so you might not receive an update the moment it is released. However, in most cases you should see the updates come through within a week or two of release -- faster than many third-party Android phones offer.

Storage

Storage was a point of contention in reviews. The phone comes in 64 or 128GB variants and there is no microSD support. If you plan to store a lot of media for offline playback, install multiple games, or record hours of video, you’ll want to spring for the larger storage option since you cannot expand it.

Cameras

Pixel cameras lead the pack for high-end Android phone cameras. The Pixel 4 is no exception with its dual rear camera with 12MP wide-angle lens and 16MP telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom. If you’re a fan of selfies or vlogging, there is also a front-facing 8MP wide-angle lens.

Reviewers praised the camera quality and the software’s easy use. Zooming is as simple as tapping the screen and the phones Live HDR+ feature means on-screen previews truly reflect what you’ll see in the final image.

There’s even an astrophotography mode to take pictures of the stars -- though it’ll require a tripod for clear shots.

While the phone might not have a huge range of lenses like much of the competition, reviews indicate it keeps up just fine thanks to excellent software optimization.

Mobile Syrup loved the camera’s performance, saying, “As a photographer, the Pixel 3 was a phone I could trust. The narrower focal length did limit it in some respects, but I could count on its image quality. That trend continues with the Pixel 4, which is still among the best in the business.”

Battery Life [H4]

Battery life is the single biggest weakness of the Pixel 4. It includes a scant 2,800mAh battery -- far below what you’ll find in similarly specced phones. Reviewers had trouble getting the phone through a full day on a single charge with moderate to heavy use.

Notebook Check had a similar experience to most reviewers, saying, “Power users should thus consider carrying around a power bank or giving it a quick top-up whenever possible.”

Fortunately, with USB Type-C fast charging and Qi wireless fast charging, keeping your phone topped up isn’t too difficult. But if you’re looking for a phone you can take off the charger in the morning and not worry about until bed that night, the Pixel 4 is not it.

Audio

As with many of the latest phones, the Pixel 4 features stereo speakers but lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. Reviewers found the speakers respectable but disliked the fact that Google did not include a 3.5mm-to-USB adapter with the phone. So if you want to use your favorite cans to enjoy movies or music, count on spending a little extra to get an adapter.

DXOMark put the phone through its paces and noted, “[The Pixel 4 is] among the three best Android devices ... outperforming such heavyweight competitors as the current Samsung flagships and the OnePlus 7 Pro. For music lovers and avid videographers of family and friends, the Pixel 4 should deliver more than satisfying results.”

_

The Takeaway

Overall, reviews for the phone are mixed. On one hand, it’s more than capable of running the latest apps and games, includes an excellent display, and feels premium in the hand. On the other, it’s a hassle to unlock and battery life is near -- if not at -- the bottom of the charts for mid- to high-tier phones in 2019. Pair that with a price tag well toward the upper end of the charts and reviewers have a hard time recommending the Pixel 4. Those that did still recommended the larger Pixel 4 XL instead.

Ars Technica didn’t hold back, declaring, “The Pixel 4 isn't bad in a vacuum, but the rest of Google's Android competition gets better every year, while Google stands still. This year, Google turned in a weak, timid update to its flagship smartphone, and I'm not sure who to recommend this to at [this price.]”

TechWeLike found the phone a bit of a compromise, noting, “It’s not the best bang for your buck, so you really have to enjoy the clean Android experience, the killer camera, and deal with the subpar battery life to go for the Pixel 4.”

Android Central says, “The Pixel 4 ends up feeling like it's trapped between multiple quantum states. A phone with some jaw-dropping technologies that has to service too many agendas, and lacks the singular focus or vision to be what everyone really wants it to be.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.84 GHz
Screen Size
5.7"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Droid Life

The camera is still Pixel-quality, the design is still pretty fresh, and the software remains my favorite in all of Android. I still don’t use Motion Sense, the specs are average, and the price is arguably too high, unless these $300 discounts stick around for the long haul. Instead, I figured I’d t...

- Kellen, Droid Life
AndroidPIT

The Pixel 4 is still a cracking compact smartphone, and one that is constantly being updated with cool new features, but Google is falling behind the pack in terms of hardware. It's not just Samsung, Huawei, and Apple that are leaving Mountain View behind, but the second-tier manufacturers like Oppo...

- David McCourt, AndroidPIT
The Wirecutter

The Pixel 4 is the fastest phone we’ve ever tested, and the camera bests that of every other Android phone. It also has guaranteed updates until October 2022. Its battery life is mediocre, but it's water resistant, it supports wireless charging, and it has a glass back rather than plastic.

- Ryan Whitwam, The Wirecutter
DxOMark

For music lovers and avid videographers of family and friends, the Pixel 4 should deliver more than satisfying results. For other uses, spatial performance could be improved, especially in movie and memo playback modes, as well as in memo and selfie camera recording modes.

- Barbara Staszewski, DxOMark
TechWeLike

I enjoy using the smaller Pixel model this time around. It’s comfortable and easy to use one-handedly. It’s not the best bang for your buck, so you really have to enjoy the clean Android experience, the killer camera, and deal with the subpar battery life to go for the Pixel 4. If you want the Pixel...

- Analie Cruz, TechWeLike


Prices (Where to Buy)




Ask the Community


No questions for the moment.


Resources


Helpful Links Share / Embed

Maybe one of your friends will find this review helpful? Please help us spread the word.


Quick view

Screen Size
5.7"

The Google Pixel 4's screen size is 5.7 inches with 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.84 GHz

There is a Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 Octa-core 2.84 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 10 operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 8+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64/128 GB

Internal memory is 64/128 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
2800mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 2800 mAh battery. Google's performance ratings are 1020 minutes, 575 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Pixel 4 Specs

Overview
Release date October 24, 2019
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
LTE:
700/800/850/900 /1700/1800/1900/2100/2300/2500/2600/3600 MHz
CDMA:
800/850/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 10

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 Octa-core 2.84 GHz
Internal Storage 64/128 GB
RAM 6 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.20 W/kg
Body: 1.34 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 2800 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 660 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 575 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1020 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 12 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Just Black, Clearly White, Oh So Orange
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.71 x 6.88 x 0.82 cm (5.8 x 2.7 x 0.3 in)
Weight 162 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 68
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology OLED
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2280 pixels
Pixel density 444 pixels
Size 5.7 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen, Ambient EQ, 90 Hz Refresh rate, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, HDR
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support Yes
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2.4
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
Yes
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, 2nd camera feature (12.2 MP, F1.7), Slow motion recording
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Zoom
No
Additional Front Camera Info
Aperture F2.0, NIR flood emitter, NIR dot projector, 90° field of view
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack Yes
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Unknown
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter Unknown
Document Viewer Yes
Weather Yes
Stocks Unknown
Maps Yes
NotePad Unknown
Voice Memos / Recorder Unknown
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments
  • Minimum 3 years of OS and security updates
  • Titan M Security Module
  • Pixel Neural Core
Related Links Google Pixel 4 Reviews
Where to buy Google Pixel 4
Suggest a correction