Google Pixel 4 XL photos & first impressions

Google Pixel 4 XL

I’ve been using the new Google Pixel 4 XL for two weeks, and there’s so much to talk about with the device that I wanted to start in the blog with some photos before I took this to a full-blown review.

The Pixel 4 XL has a remarkable new camera array, improved Google Assistant experience, the fastest face unlock I’ve seen on an Android device, and I love the new Oh So Orange colour. There’s a lot to appreciate.

Plus, I haven’t been out of the city yet at night, but I can’t wait to try out the astrophotography feature, that lets you take photos of the night sky with the Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL.

The stand out feature so far though is the camera’s portrait mode, and the overall simplicity of the camera app.

There are just four main camera options: camera (still photos), video, portrait, and night sight, but you can also find options to shoot panorama, photo sphere, slow motion, time lapse, playground, and lens in the “more” tab. In each mode, the app does a lot of the heavy lifting to help capture the best photos, but you also have control to lighten or darken the exposure, or focus on what’s important in the moment.

In night sight mode, you just aim, click, and hold still (or you can prop the phone up against something, or use a phone tripod) to get incredible results that are crisp, clear, and with colour balancing that makes scenes look more natural than the Pixel 3.

I also love that when I’m shooting video, I can lock the focus onto a subject and move around, and the camera doesn’t lose focus. This happens to me all the time on other devices, but the Pixel 4 has a great system for tracking your subject.

On top of everything else, Google also added a telelphoto camera to the Pixel 4, so you can zoom in for impressive detail shots, even in the dark.

I have a number of wishes for the device, including that the battery lasted a little longer, and for an expandable memory slot, but I am really impressed with the device. I love that the Recorder app can transcribe interviews while I’m recording, and the Google Assistant is faster and smarter for day-to-day requests.

Stay tuned later this week for the full Pixel 4 XL review, and let me know in the comments below any questions you have about the phone.

All of the photos in this story are completely unedited and came directly from the phone.

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