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There may yet be a glimmer of hope for the Pixel 4’s terrible battery − ultra low power mode

The Google Pixel 4 could have been a very good phone. It offers a great camera, a pure Android experience and it looks good too. Unfortunately, its battery life is woeful. But on the bright side, Google might be working on a new power-saving feature that may make it a little less bad.

Anybody unfortunate enough to have bought a Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL will be painfully familiar with its sub-par stamina. I reverted back to Pixel 3 after spending a few weeks with the Pixel 4, solely because of its battery life. On some days I’d have to charge it at least twice.

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However, help might be on the way. Mishaal Rahman, the editor-in-chief of XDA-Developers, this week discovered Android code for a feature called ‘Ultra low power’.

If such a feature does launch, it would be likely to roll out with the Pixel 5. However, the Google engineer who submitted the code has apparently worked on a pair of Pixel 4-related updates, so Ultra low power could arrive as an update for Google’s current flagship range too.

Rahman says the feature “will save more power than the existing ‘low power’ (battery saver) mode as it will limit the user experience of the device, likely by limiting what apps you have access to”.

In other words, extended battery life will come at a price.

Earlier this month, Google indicated that the Pixel 4 range had not only flopped − but flopped harder even than the Pixel 3 range that came before it. The Pixel 3 did not sell well.

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We’re expecting the firm to launch the Pixel 4a in May, and there could be a lot riding on the upcoming mid-ranger, as was the case for last year’s Google Pixel 3a. The 3a, fortunately for Google, delivered, and was one of the standout mobile phones of 2019.

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