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Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL: Google keeps its smartphones interesting

Ensured software updates for a long time: Google Pixel 4 XL
Ensured software updates for a long time: Google Pixel 4 XL
With its regular software updates, Google not only brings the Android security patches to its smartphones, but their functionality is also expanded. This keeps even older devices interesting for a longer period of time.
Mike Wobker (translated by Mark Riege), 🇩🇪

With continuous support of their own hardware products, manufacturers can achieve a significantly longer life and usage of their smartphones. For a long time, Google has been showing with its Pixel smartphones how this works. Not only are they ensured to receive the next three iterations of the Android software, but even a few years later, Google still brings some new functionality to its aging hardware.

For example in March 2020, the three-year-old Pixel 2 received the capability to access stored credit cards and tickets by pressing the Power button. Even though the activation of the Dark Theme triggered by time-of-day and the Emoji update are only smaller added functionalities, at least the new rules were also introduced into the Pixel 2. Those allow you to automatically change system settings dependent on the location or currently accessed WLAN, for example. Even the Live Caption feature was still brought to the aging Google smartphone.

Buy Pixel 4 now on Amazon
Sale off - Buy Pixel 4 XL now on Amazon

Exclusive Features for the Newest Smartphones

In addition to the features listed above, users of the third Pixel generation can also look forward to the ability to add tickets to Wallet by saved screenshots of them. They will also received expanded AR effects in Google Duo. However most new features remain reserved to the newest model.

In addition to a new gesture recognition feature for Motion Sense, the Pixel 4 is now able to add a freely adjustable Bokeh effect to selfies even afterwards. The adaptive brightness was also improved, which is supposed to improve the readability of the screen contents in very bright surroundings.

Due to these and future expansions of the functionality, the Pixel devices will remain interesting even in the coming years, since users won't always have to look enviously at the newest flagship, but will also be provided with some new functions on their own smartphones. At least in terms of the software, this fact is a significant mark of a Google smartphone distinguishing it from those of other manufacturers, who might just barely be able to keep rolling out the newest security patches each quarter. 


More on this in the detailed Notebookcheck test on the Google Pixel 4 XL.

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Mike Wobker
Editor of the original article: Mike Wobker - Senior Tech Writer - 444 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I carried out my first IT experiments with a 386-based system and a whole 4 MB RAM. This was followed by work on various PCs and laptops that I maintained and repaired for friends and acquaintances. After training to become a Telecommunications Systems Technician and gaining a few years of experience, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. Currently, I pursue my fascination for IT, technology, and mobile devices by writing reviews and articles for Notebookcheck. I have also worked for Gamestar, Netzwelt, and Golem, among others.
contact me via: @mornoc_mw, Xing
Mark Riege
Translator: Mark Riege - Translator - 314 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Having worked as a programmer for 20 years (medical devices, AI, data management systems), I've been following the computer scene for many years and especially enjoy finding out about new technology advances. Originally from Germany but living in the US, I've been working as a translator more recently, with Notebookcheck allowing me to combine my interest in new devices and translation. Other interests include Buddhism, spending time in Tibetan monasteries, and translating ancient Tibetan texts.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL: Google keeps its smartphones interesting
Mike Wobker, 2020-04-17 (Update: 2020-05-19)