Who Hated the Google Pixel 4? Google, Apparently

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Google unveiled the Pixel 5 today (9to5Google has a good roundup), and nothing makes the Pixel 4 looks worse than seeing how few of the things Google said they were excited about last year being straight up gone this year.

  • All that face sensor tech? Gone.
  • That radar sensor that was such a big revolution? Gone.
  • Proud bezels? Gone.
  • An $800-1000 price range? Slashed! This is a good one, actually.
  • A telephoto lens? Kicked to the curb.
  • A tiny, 2,800 mAh battery? Blown up to 4,000 mAh! Again, a good move.

I’m not saying the Pixel 5 looks bad, far from it, it looks like a respectable phone, and is getting closer to the phone that I think Google should be making. I wish the price was $100 cheaper, but hey, $699 counts as a lower end premium phone in 2020.

What I am saying is that I don’t know what the hell was going on with the Pixel 4. The iPhone line has a pretty clear, linear progression from one year to another, as do Samsung’s lines. Even the Pixel 1 and 2 made a ton of sense together, and while the 3 was a bit weird, the 4 feels like a phone made by a rogue group of Google employees who had a whole different set of priorities than the rest of the company. I don’t know what that was all about last year, and based on the fact the Pixel 5 throws out most of the headline features from the 4, and the fact that Google stopped selling the Pixel 4 just nine months after it launched and before its replacement was available, neither does Google.