Google just announced the Pixel 4 ($799+) and the Pixel 4 XL ($899+), its newest flagship smartphones. Last year’s Pixel 3 had one of the best cameras in the game, so it should be no surprise that Google’s latest hardware continues the trend with the introduction of Live HDR+, dual exposure controls and better low-light utility through a feature called Night Sight. But a new camera system isn’t the Pixel 4’s only standout feature. Here’s everything else you need to know.
1. It Has a Killer Transcription App
The Pixel 4’s brand-new voice recording app, called Recorder, could be its secret weapon, as it looks to be a godsend for any journalist or person who needs to transcribe something. It’s like the iPhone’s Voice Memo app, but it can transcribe recordings in real-time. It doesn’t even require internet access. This feature alone could possibly sway journalists to switch over to Pixel. It could also potentially be a killer for many transcription services.
2. The Fastest Face Unlock, Ever
The Pixel 4 is the first smartphone to have a radar detector, which Google is calling a Motion Sense radar. This means the smartphone can detect its user before they’re even looking at it. Google claims that this helps the Pixel have the fastest face unlock of any smartphone.
3. You Control Your Phone Without Actually Touching It
The Motion Sense radar helps with a little more than just unlocking the Pixel 4, and it actually enables a bunch of new hand gestures (which, admittedly, will take some getting used to). You can swipe your hand over the phone, without ever touching it, to do things like skips songs, turn off your alarm clock in the morning, and dismiss incoming calls. For more practical use-cases, the Motion Sense radar can detect when your hand is near the Pixel 4, and when it is, it’ll automatically light up the display. When you’re not near it, the always-on display will turn off.
4. There Are Better Displays Than the New iPhones
The Pixel 4 is one of the few smartphones to have a display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The new iPhone 11 smartphones have a max 60Hz refresh rate. This helps things like switching between apps and scrolling feel super smooth and fast – Google is calling the feature “Smooth Display.” The Pixel only uses the 90Hz refresh rate occasionally, as most apps and use-cases only require 60Hz. There’s no word yet on how (or if) this feature affects battery life.
5. Pricing Starts at $799
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are available for pre-order right now. The Pixel 4 starts at $799 and the Pixel 4 XL starts at $899, which are pretty much the same prices as last year’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Each smartphone is available in three colors: “just black” (black), “clearly white” (white) and “oh so orange” (orange).
A big new thing with the Pixel 4 is that you can actually but it from all four major US carriers, whereas previously Verizon had been the exclusive carrier for Pixel. You can also buy unlocked versions of the Pixel 4 directly from Google.
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