Face Unlock, radar and on-device voice skills show Googles magic, but some bits need fixing
Googles latest Pixel 4 XL smartphone is its bravest yet, throwing out the conventions of old, integrating cutting-edge technology and attempting to round it all out with a special mix of software direct from the Android-maker.
By now you probably know the drill. The Pixel 4 XL is a metal and glass sandwich like practically every other phone. Unlike most though the aluminium sides have a black textured coating, which aids grip, while the back feels almost like super-smooth skin or silk rather than glass. It also has bold, contrasting colours, if you choose the white or orange variant, that make it stand out well against the competition.
The 6.3in QHD+ OLED screen is big but not massive by todays 6.5in-plus standards. It has a 90Hz refresh rate, but just in certain lighting conditions for now, which Google says its working on a fix to increase. Generally it makes the experience of using it smoother and more fluid. Its crisp, colourful and has good viewing angles but cant reach the same super-bright heights as rivals the 90Hz display on the OnePlus 7T Pro has far more wow factor. A chunky top bezel hides a new Face Unlock system and Googles new party trick: the Soli radar system.