We’ve had the chance to play with the Google Pixel 4 and it has been a strong performer thus far. The tech giant’s fourth iteration of its Pixel smartphone, Google Pixel 4 finally bucks the trend of a single camera, brings on board Face ID-style depth-sensing array, and features the groundbreaking Soli radar sensor chip.
It’s hard to cut through the marketing drivel and useful features that will actually benefit users, so we’ve compiled the top four reasons you might want to consider the Google Pixel 4.
4. Face ID-style unlock
Coupled with the Soli radar (more on that later), the Pixel 4 devices deliver lightning-fast facial biometric authentication with a depth-sensing array complete with infrared dot projector and sensor much like Apple’s Face ID tech on its recent iPhones.
However, unlike its competitor, the Google Pixel 4 unlocks without the need for any tapping or swiping. Instead, it utilises its Soli Radar to detect the user bringing it up to their face, firing the sensors up and unlocking the phone without any additional user input.
There’s just one drawback, though. The Pixel 4 ditches fingerprint scanners altogether and relies on this new Face Unlock for security, an issue given how the phones are able to unlock without the need for users to open their eyes, let alone look at the phone. Currently, Google hasn’t clarified if it will fix this drawback.
3. Radar on a smartphone?
While it certainly has its drawbacks for the company, the implementation of its proprietary Soli radar chip is one of the cornerstones for the Pixel 4 devices. It’s main use is with the Face Unlock system, giving users a taste of the future of ambient computing.
Apart from a more seamless Face Unlock, Soli enables Ambient Display, which triggers key elements like time, notifications and other information when it senses the user’s presence.
The radar sensors also detect touch-free gestures in front of the display, meaning users can swish their hands left and right over the display to play the next or previous track, silence alarms and pick up calls. There’s likely more features to come, although Google hasn’t divulged much else.
2. 90Hz display
The Google Pixel 4 might be the first mainstream smartphone to bring a high refresh rate display (higher than the standard 60fps) to the masses.
While battery capacities aren’t much improved from the previous generation Pixel 3 phones, the Google Pixel 4’s variable refresh rate allows it be more efficient with power while allowing for buttery-smooth on-screen animations.
In any case, fast refresh rates on a contrasty OLED display will likely be one of the main draws to the Pixel 4 when it hits shelves in days to come.
1. Best cameras on a smartphone, again
Pixel phones have always been the industry leader when it comes to still photographs, and the Google Pixel 4 once again showcases the company’s lead in the photography department.
The Pixel 4 devices showcase some improvements made in the software and user interface. Images taken now display HDR exposure in live view prior to taking the photograph, allowing users to more accurately preview the final product and make the appropriate adjustments to composition or exposure.
Improved slider controls will also come to Pixel 4, allowing users to adjust exposure and contrast without the need to make difficult adjustments in post.
Unfortunately, this live view preview functionality has not been extended to Portrait Mode, which now also has been limited by a 1.6x crop. It, however will benefit from the inclusion of the secondary 1.6x telephoto lens.
The Pixel 4 will debut a redesigned Night Sight optimised for astrophotography, enabling users to capture starry nights or even the Milky Way from their smartphones.
The 5.7-inch Pixel 4 starts at SGD 1,119 (USD 799) for 64GB and SGD 1,269 for the 128GB variant. The larger 6.3-inch Pixel 4 XL starts at SGD 1,319 (USD 899) with the larger storage option at SGD 1,469. Both phones will hit shelves worldwide from October 24thand preorders are already open.