Pixel phones have usually been known more for utilitarian design than flashy looks, but Google's line of fabric cases certainly helps the phones stand out from the crowd while adding some drop protection as well. With the announcement of the new Pixel 4a, the Google Store is cutting prices on fabric case options for the Pixel 3a/3a XL and Pixel 4/4 XL down to just $20, a savings of 50%.
August updates are live for Google's Pixels — notably behind some Samsung devices. The trend of intermittently skipping those "functional patch notes" continues this month, so we can't tell you what sort of user-facing changes or fixes you might see (if there are any at all), but it does include a good number of "high" and "critical" labeled fixes, so you'll want to pull them down sooner rather than later anyway.
This story was originally published and last updated .
The Pixel 4 (and 4 XL) might only be nine months old, but a lot has happened since then. Samsung revealed its new Galaxy S20 series, Motorola announced its first high-end phone in years, and the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are now widely available. The Pixel 4 has also changed over the past few months, with several new software features and price fluctuations.
So, the question is this: should you still buy the Pixel 4 in 2020? The answer a few months ago was "probably yes," but after a recent price hike, it's not the best choice for everyone.
Google's Pixel lineup might offer some of the best phones out there when it comes to software, but they've always struggled with one hardware issue or another over the years. From the Pixel 2 XL display to the Pixel 3's long list of problems, the reliability of Pixel devices isn't among their best selling points. Now it looks like the back panels of some Pixel 4 XL units are peeling off, but Google has promised to exchange devices still under warranty, refuting claims bloated batteries might be at fault.
Starting with Android 11 Developer Preview 4, a few Pixel 4 users, including us here at Android Police, noticed an odd display flicker bug, which we could pin down to some rapid flip-flopping between the 60 and 90Hz modes. While you might not be able to see it in screen recordings, the flickering is very visible and very annoying when you use the phone. Unfortunately, the bug is still present two development cycles later in Beta 2, but Google has promised that it will fix the issue with an update slated to be released in two weeks.
The Android 11 Beta is now official, and the era of Developer Previews are over. While Android 11 isn't "done," the switch to betas is a sort of milestone for stability as we approach a final release. There are still risks, but Google's transition to a beta branding means you probably shouldn't run into any serious deal-breaking bugs — though there's still some risk. Part of this change also means you don't need to manually install Android 11 via ADB, like you had to with prior Developer Preview releases. In fact, getting it on your Pixel phone is a snap, and here's how to do it.
Google's third big Pixel feature drop arrived yesterday, and while it was a little lighter on standout features than the two previous, some interesting upgrades for the Recorder app were included. The ability to control it with the Google Assistant makes an already great app even more useful, as does saving transcripts directly to Google Docs so you can use them more easily later.
Google's monthly Pixel software update is now rolling out, including June 2020's security patches and changes announced as part of this quarter's Pixel Feature Drop. The OTA should be rolling out in the traditional sense shortly, but in the meantime, you can sideload the update yourself, or peruse the huge list of Pixel functional patches — they're almost all just fixes, but there's a ton of them.
Google's third Pixel Feature Drop update has been announced with a handful of new features and tweaks for the company's line of phones. While we might yet find more minor changes hiding inside when it rolls out, we're told there are four broad categories of new features Pixel owners can look forward to: New Adaptive Battery tweaks to stretch out battery life, Recorder app integration with the Google Assistant and Google Docs, tools to better manage your sleep, and new personal safety features including crisis alerts and a "safety check" feature that notifies emergency contacts if you don't respond to a scheduled check-in.