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Google Pixel 4 XL review: Plans | Pricing | Specs

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The Google Pixel 4 XL will please the Google faithful looking to upgrade from a Pixel or Pixel 2, but despite a few cute gimmicks, this is largely a by-the-numbers 2019 flagship phone.

The good

  • Cameras are easy to use (and fun too!)
  • Voice transcribing on-device works surprisingly well
  • Guaranteed Android updates
  • Clutter-free experience

The bad

  • Face unlock is too easily fooled
  • Average battery life for a flagship phone
  • Still no storage expansion
  • Motion gestures work, but lack true purpose

6.3 inches

Display size

1440 x 3040px

64GB, 128GB

Internal storage

12.2MP + 16MP

Rear camera

3,700 mAh

Battery size

Finder rated as Average vs similar phones

Details

Display

Display Size
6.3 inches
Resolution
1440 x 3040px
Pixels per inch (PPI)
537 ppi

Camera

Rear camera megapixels
12.2MP + 16MP
Rear camera aperture size
f/1.7 + f/2.4
Video recording
2160p
Front camera megapixels
8MP
Front camera aperture size
f/2.0

Physical Dimensions

Dimensions
160.4mm x 75.1mm x 8.2mm
Weight
193g

Connectivity

NFC
No
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Network category speed
Category 21

Power, storage and battery

Processor
Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855
RAM
6GB
Operating system
Android 10
Internal storage
64GB, 128GB
Battery capacity
3,700mAh

Device features

Headphone jack
No
Fingerprint sensor
No
Water resistance rating
IP68
Wireless charging
Qi
Launch price (RRP)$1,279
Launch date2019-10

Google Pixel 4 XL
Finder score: 4 How we score our reviews

Google has long argued that phone hardware is something of a commodity item, and that the experience that you get out of its in-house Pixel phones is more about the experience that the software can bring. There's a fair argument there, but it's also one that's led Google to fall behind its competitors in terms of camera flexibility, storage expansion and battery capacity.

Google has addressed some of those issues with the Google Pixel 4 XL – although far from all of them – and even added some unique technology with the use of radar-led motion sensing technology.

However, what it's left with is a phone that's perfectly fine within the flagship phone space without really standing out.

Design

  • Single-tone colour finishes, except for the power button
  • 90Hz 6.3 inch display is sharp
  • Large jutting forehead bezel
  • No storage expansion
Google Pixel 4 XL

Camera

  • Dual cameras deliver pleasing photos
  • Night Sight is still great, but it's not the best
  • No wide-angle selfies from the front
  • Unlimited photo storage is no more
Google Pixel 4 XL

Performance

  • Runs much the same as every other Android flagship
  • Voice transcription is surprisingly good
  • Face unlocking needs work
  • Motion gestures work, except in Japan
  • Sobble is a fun companion, but a battery hog
Google Pixel 4 XL

Battery life

  • 3700mAh battery gives a single day's battery life, but that's about it
  • Wired or wireless charging
Google Pixel 4 XL

Should you buy the Google Pixel 4 XL?

  • A good update for Pixel or Pixel 2 owners
  • A little bland against competing Android flagships
Google Pixel 4 XL

The Pixel 4 XL is a solid premium flagship, and it certainly hits all the features that you're likely to want out of a 2019 flagship phone. The camera is mostly very good, general app performance is right up there, and unlike many of its Android competitors, you're assured of updates for years to come.

It's even a little cheaper than last year's Pixel 3 XL.

However, you've got to weigh that against what you're updating from. I can't see the sense in upgrading from a Pixel 3 XL to it, for example, but if you're dead keen on Google phones specifically and you're still using an original Pixel XL or Pixel 2 XL, you'll see much more of a performance and feature bump.

Again, though, the Pixel 4 XL feels like the vanilla cousin to some more genuinely interesting flagship phones that rock even more flexible and fun cameras, or better battery life, or more engaging designs.

The Pixel 4 XL is a fine phone but it's one that really struggles to truly stand out.

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Pricing and availability

Compare Google Pixel 4 XL plans

Alternatives

If you wanted to keep matters in-house with Google, you could consider the cheaper and smaller Google Pixel 4 instead. Although it has an even smaller battery, which doesn't give us confidence in its battery prowess.

If you're after a flagship phone with guaranteed Android updates, there's essentially only one in the market right now, and that's the Android One-based Nokia 9 Pureview.

In battery and camera terms, the Huawei P30 Pro is still a top contender, but Huawei's recent issues with the US government put its Android future in some doubt.

You could opt for the Oppo Reno 5G if you wanted great battery life and good camera quality alongside 5G for futureproofing.

Samsung's offerings in the premium space are also worth considering, including phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G or Samsung Galaxy Note10+.

If you're happy to jump ship in operating system terms, there's also the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max to consider, although that's a considerably more expensive handset.

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Google Pixel 4 XL specs

Display

Display Size
6.3 inches
Resolution
1440 x 3040px
Pixels per inch (PPI)
537 ppi

Camera

Rear camera megapixels
12.2MP + 16MP
Rear camera aperture size
f/1.7 + f/2.4
Video recording
2160p
Front camera megapixels
8MP
Front camera aperture size
f/2.0

Physical Dimensions

Dimensions
160.4mm x 75.1mm x 8.2mm
Weight
193g

Connectivity

NFC
No
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Network category speed
Category 21

Power, storage and battery

Processor
Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855
RAM
6GB
Operating system
Android 10
Internal storage
64GB, 128GB
Battery capacity
3,700mAh

Device features

Headphone jack
No
Fingerprint sensor
No
Water resistance rating
IP68
Wireless charging
Qi

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