Hands-on with Pixel 4 and 4 XL: Google’s new phones only have minor differences


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Like the iPhone 11, the Pixel 4 has a square camera array that houses the two rear cameras.


Angela Lang/CNET

It’s official: On Tuesday Google formally announced the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. Finally! The Pixel 4 is one of the most leaked-about phones in recent memory. In fact, Google itself teased a photo of the 4 and the 4 XL back in June on Twitter. The new Pixel phones pack dual rear cameras, a 90Hz display, radar-powered face unlock process and a slew of unique features like car crash detection and live video captioning.

In an Amazon-style autumnal windfall of products, also unveiled at the 2019 Made by Google event in New York were the Pixel Buds 2 wireless earbudsPixelbook Go Chromebook, Google Nest Mini smart speaker and Nest Wifi smart router.

The Pixel 4 starts at $799 (£669) for a 64GB version and $899 (£829) for the Pixel 4 XL. Both are available in black, white or orange, which Google calls “Oh So Orange.” In the US, you can upgrade either phone to 128GB for $100 more. Preorders are live and the phones ship starting Oct. 24. And for the first time, you can buy the Pixel 4 directly from all major US carriers.

While it’s Google’s turn to take the phone spotlight, the 2019 stage is already full of new competitors, including Apple‘s iPhone 11 and 11 Pro and Samsung‘s Galaxy Note 10 and relaunched Galaxy Fold. The iPhone 11 and Galaxy S10E are two of the better-matched rivals to the Pixel 4 and both are $100 cheaper. Then there’s the OnePlus 7 Pro, which packs a 90Hz screen like the Pixel 4 but costs $130 less. And of course there are last year’s Pixel 3 phones, which Google has chopped $300 off.

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