While the Pixel 4 is a fantastic device, it does have some issues that will put certain people off.
Google just pushed out the March security update to Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL owners yesterday, but it oddly had two builds available depending on your carrier. One of the biggest gripes with the super-fast Pixel 4 Face Unlock is that, unfortunately, you can unlock your device even if your eyes are not open.
Now, the device is picking up another handy trick. That said, the 90Hz isn't always on. Google's "smooth display" only kicks in at higher brightness levels.
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The company said that it would release an update to "fix" the problem. One of Android 10's stand out features is the full gesture navigation system that's eerily similar to iOS. Perhaps that's what Google was counting on but it works quite well for the most part. The multitasking animations are a bit smoother on iOS but otherwise the gestures are fine. I've seen some reviewers lament how the gesture to go back can sometimes interfere with the gesture to get to side menus like with Gmail.
Face unlock: Quick and accurate with little support
I haven't necessarily ran into those issues but I can see why they'd be frustrating. One of the headline features of Android 10 is Live Caption. Which, as the name implies, provides visible captions for any video playing, even if the sound is muted. I found the feature ro work quite well. Google also has a handy Recorder app that not only records your voice but transcribes the entire thing. You can search through the transcription for certain words and phrases, a feature certainly useful in educational environments.
While this isn't a comprehensive Android 10 review , I will say that I haven't really missed iOS at all. Android is a modern, mature mobile operating system that allows me to do much more than I could within Apple's walled garden. For example, as a networking guy, I like being able to see all the geeky network and channel statistics for my home Wi-Fi network to avoid interference with neighboring Wi-Fi networks.
Apple doesn't allow you to see that information while Android does. While Apple has come a long way in how users can control notifications, Android is still king when it comes to managing notifications. Android 10 added the ability to control when and where apps notify you, including being able to mark some notifications as "Silent". The sheer number of notification options could overwhelm some but I appreciate the thoroughness. As much as I enjoyed the Apple ecosystem, that was mainly on the hardware side. I've owned several MacBooks and currently own an iPad Air 2.
Most of my family and friends have Apple devices, so iMessage and FaceTime were very helpful. However, I normally use third party services instead of Apple's service. That made the switch to Android a lot more seamless for me but may pose a bigger barrier for other users. In general, iOS versions of apps tend to be a bit more polished than the Android app. I've had a bit more issues with the Instacart Android application than the iOS version. That said, I haven't really had any issues with the Android apps that I use regularly.
Also like iPhone, the Pixel 4 also has Face Unlock that basically works the same as iPhone's Face ID including the process of scanning your face by rotating your head around in a circle. The good news is that Google's Face Unlock is super fast.
By the time I pick my phone up and raise it to my face, it's already unlocked. The default is to bypass the lock screen entirely but that setting can be changed for those who prefer to scroll through notifications without unlocking the phone completely. The bad news is that as of writing, Face Unlock also works even if your eyes are closed.
That's definitely a security issue that Google also says will be fixed in a security update. Motion Sense, previously known as Project Soli, uses radar to detect hand gestures. Motion Sense is probably one of the more controversial aspects of the Pixel 4 based on current sentiment. Some people see it as a gimmick while others think it has potential. In its current iteration, you can use Motion Sense to silence alarms, reject incoming phone calls, and skip songs.
Google Pixel 4 XL review: not quite ready for primetime
For the most part this works as intended although there was somewhat of a learning curve to make sure I did the gestures correctly. There is a subtle white glow at the top of the screen that lets you know when Motion Sense is active. You can add or remove it at any time. MMS is not included. The number of points depends on which plan you choose.
Google Pixel 4 XL from Telstra
You must be over 18 and have an active service to join. Excludes business customers. Bonus points may take up to 30 business days to appear on your account. What you can get for your points. See full terms and conditions. You can add selected smart watches and headphones later in the checkout, as well as our device repair, exchange and replacement service, StayConnected Advanced. Video content description.
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