When you read the characteristics of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, nothing seems to be blowing the competition away.

Google has selected components that are somewhat expected in the high-end market. The two terminals are powered by a Snapdragon 855 platform, coupled with 6 GB of RAM. This setup is enough to offer, with near certainty, excellent performance.

Depending on the version chosen, without the possibility of extending the memory in the absence of a microSD port. Google’s lack of storage capacity with 256 or 512 GB models is because it is pushing its online storage services, with Photos, Drive, or, to a lesser extent, Stadia and YouTube.

2019 is all about photo optimization

Unlike many smartphone manufacturers – especially the Chinese ones – Google prefers quality over quantity. A fact that is confirmed by the photography features of it’s new flagship model. Last year, the Pixel 3 proved that beautiful photos on smartphones are based on a clever mix of hardware quality and software expertise. On their new Pixel 4, Google uses the same foundations as the previous version while adding a second telephoto module.

The choice to add a second photo module to Pixel 4 is not very surprising. The market trend is to adopt 3 or even 4 photo modules on the back of smartphones. However, Google has opted for a “telephoto lens” module to accompany the primary camera. Indeed, Pixel 3 proved to us that digital zoom could be as good as optical devices when image processing is up to the task. Also, smartphones have recently adopted ultra-wide-angle modules quite widely, which is impossible to simulate in software terms.

A sober design overall

Nor will the design of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL make a lasting impression. Google is also not part of the current logic, which aims to remove screen borders at all costs. Here, the lower and upper edges remain clearly present. The Pixel 4 chooses to use the same format as the Pixel 3, by proposing an increase in the size of the screen (5.7 against 5.5 inches), and therefore in the occupancy rate of the latter on the front panel. Good news for fans of relatively compact smartphones, then. The XL version eliminates the notch and reduces the lower edge while maintaining the 6.3-inch diagonal of the Pixel 3 XL.

On the display side, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are based on Oled technology. The first displays Full HD+ definition at 444 dpi resolution, while the second opts for QHD+ and sees its resolution increased to 537 dpi. Always-on mode and HDR compatibility are included. Google has also opted for 90 Hz screens, with a higher refresh rate, giving the perception of greater fluidity. The Pixel 4s follow in the iPhone’s footsteps with the appearance of an Ambient EQ mode. It adapts the screen’s color temperature to the surrounding lighting conditions, as True Tone does on iOS.