After what felt like months of leaks, Google finally unveiled the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL at a rather tedious keynote in NYC. It packs the majority of the features you’d expect from a 2019 flagship, however it does have a few notable ommissions.
Here are five of the biggest features missing from Pixel 4.
1. The latest chipset from Qualcomm
Even though Qualcomm has recently launched the Snapdragon 855+ chipset, Google Pixel 4 is still using the older Snapdragon 855. We’ve seen the 855+ on plenty of phones recently, notably the OnePlus 7T and it adds a bit more of a GPU boost over the regular 855.
This isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, but it’s something of a disappointment a phone for that can cost up to £929 and is already coming out towards the end of the 855’s lifecycle.
2. Headphones included in the box
This is an odd one. Last year, Google included a very serviceable pair of USB-C headphones and a USB-C-3.5mm adaptor in the box of the Pixel 3. The box of the Pixel 4 has neither.
That means unless you’re using a pair of Bluetooth headphones (and Google will obviously be pushing people to buy the new Pixel Buds, although they won’t be out until 2020) you’re pretty much stuck. You could buy the £30 USB-C Pixel earphones or any other pair for that matter, or spend £12 on the 3.5mm dongle.
With all Google’s talk about using recycled materials in its products, it probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see the majority of the excess removed, but it’s an annoyance that you’ll have to shell out more if you’re into wireless headphones.
3. Video recording at 4K60
While the camera abilities of the Pixel 4 got plenty of stage time, the matter of video wasn’t broached at all. And it seems the reason for this is that it hasn’t changed much since the Pixel 3. There’s still so support for 60fps 4K recording on any of the cameras and there’s no option for 4k 24fps – two features possessed by the iPhone 11.
It’s not obvious why Google isn’t adding these options as other Android support it just fine, so it’s not a problem with the chipset inside the phone.
4. A fingerprint scanner
Like the iPhone 11, the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL eschew fingerprint recognition completely to go all-in on face unlock. That means there’s no fingerprint sensor anywhere on the phone; not even under the screen. This is a big move and a risky one at that, especially if the accuracy of the face unlock isn’t up to scratch.
5. A 128GB version of ‘Oh So Orange’ in the UK
Easily the best colour of the Pixel 4 is the ‘Oh So Orange’ and as it’s a limited edition hue we expect demand to be pretty high. It’s a shame then that in the UK you can only get this model in a 64GB flavour directly from Google. Switch to the US Google Store and it’s available in both 64 and 128GB sizes, so maybe we’ll see it here eventually.