5 big buts about the Pixel 4 phone

Look, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m a big believer in buts.

Now, hang on a sec: You haven’t accidentally stumbled onto the world’s last remaining Sir Mix-a-Lot fan site. (If only!) No, the buts of which I speak at this particular moment are the single “t” variety — as in, the contradictory kinds of statements that are so frequently missing when we talk about technology.

You know what I’m talking about, right? Here in these tribal times of 2019, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of seeing a certain sort of product or type of device as being either “awesome” or “inferior,” with little gray space between those extremes. You’ve used this kind of smartphone for years now, damn it, so it has to be the best! And that other company’s devices are, like, obviously awful. They’re from the competing team! They could never be worth your while.

That mindset is supremely silly, of course. Every product, no matter who made it or what strange sense of loyalty you may feel toward its manufacturer, has its fair share of pros and cons. And forgive me for being cheeky, but almost any statement about a phone’s strengths can be balanced out with a nice, firm “but” attached to it.

Having lived with Google’s new Pixel 4 for several days now, I think five big buts in particular can sum up a lot of important things about the device and what it’s like to use. Let’s explore ’em together, shall we?

1. The Pixel 4’s new face unlock feature is fantastic — but missing a fingerprint scanner still kinda sucks

Eight years after first introducing a face unlocking system (here’s lookin’ at you, Ice Cream Sandwich), Google has finally updated its standard and come out with a version of the system you’ll actually appreciate — and want to use.