Android Police

Pixel 4a

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Pixels may gain face-based auto-rotate with Android 12

Pixels may gain face-based auto-rotate with Android 12

Android 12's first developer preview is just around the corner, and we've already heard a lot about what we can expect — from huge UI changes to app pairs. With the next version, we're also expecting to see a bunch of features that will be exclusive to Pixel devices, and the latest one we're hearing about is face-based auto-rotate.

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26

February Pixel updates are here, with a fix for the 4a 5G's touchscreen issue and 'certain sensor detection'

February Pixel updates are here, with a fix for the 4a 5G's touchscreen issue and 'certain sensor detection'

February 2021 updates for Google's Pixels from the 3 series to the 5 are landing today. On top of your regularly scheduled security patches, Pixel owners can also look forward to two other changes: A fix for the Pixel 4a 5G's touchscreen issue (which apparently extends to the Pixel 5 as well), and an undefined "fix for issue preventing certain sensor detection on startup," which could be tied to the long-standing Pixel device sensor issue.

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4

Pixels could get iPhone-style back tap gesture with Android 12

Pixels could get iPhone-style back tap gesture with Android 12

Touchscreen presses and gestures make up the vast majority of our interactions with smartphones these days, but sometimes it's nice to be able to perform an action without looking, as we could by squeezing the Active Edge to summon the Google Assistant on older Pixels. A similar feature that enabled double-tapping on the back of the phone was in the works for Android 11 but didn't make it into the final version. Thankfully, it seems like it will make a comeback in Android 12.

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0

This December Pixel Feature drop change still hasn't landed on all Pixels

This December Pixel Feature drop change still hasn't landed on all Pixels

Google's most recent December Feature Drop delivered plenty of new features for the company's Pixel phones. But one specific change is still missing for many device owners: the new grid size options in the Pixel launcher. I know it sounds pretty minor, but a surprising number of people were looking forward to the feature, which allows you to set custom grid sizes and adjust the density of icons on your Pixel's home screen. It can even help with accessibility for those without much in the way of fine motor control. But, unfortunately, the option still isn't present for everyone.

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75

January 2021 patches are here for Google's Pixels, with fixes for auto-rotation, automatic brightness, and sound

January 2021 patches are here for Google's Pixels, with fixes for auto-rotation, automatic brightness, and sound

January patches for Google's Pixels are now live, together with a decent set of functional patch notes. Outside your usual security improvements, that means Pixel owners can also look forward to a handful of fixes, including some sound fixes for the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G, better automatic brightness on this year's phones, plus call improvements on certain MVNOs, and auto-rotation improvements across the whole currently supported Pixel lineup — no longer including the Pixel 2.

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53

Pixels with Adaptive Charging won't adapt to night owls

Pixels with Adaptive Charging won't adapt to night owls

We live in a 24/7 world that has taken "work from home" to a whole new meaning and yet, Google seems to think we all live, work, and sleep the same hours. At least, that's what its Pixel phones with adaptive charging seem to think. That probably needs to change.

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88

I am very happy that budget smartphones finally, really don't suck

I am very happy that budget smartphones finally, really don't suck

We learned a lot in 2020. About face coverings, about entertaining ourselves in our own homes, about staycations, and probably about making bread — or at least personally net carbohydrate profiteering off of someone who did. But in the realm of smartphones, one trend markedly stood out amidst a global economy (and frankly, just a globe) in turmoil: good, relatively inexpensive phones.

The OnePlus Nord, Galaxy S20 FE, and Google Pixel 4a shine brightest in the collective "value" Android smartphone cosmos right now here in the West, being from the three names most synonymous with the tech enthusiast circle in the handset space.

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3

Hurry: The Google Pixel 4a is down to $319 at B&H for today only ($30 off)

Hurry: The Google Pixel 4a is down to $319 at B&H for today only ($30 off)

The Google Pixel 4a has to be the most critically acclaimed Pixel phone to date. It earned a nearly perfect score in our own testing and was awarded the coveted 2020 Smartphone of the Year title almost unanimously by our editors. What’s even better about the budget champ is that it’s available at a discounted price right ahead of Christmas, shaving a respectable $30 off its retail price — a first for the baby Pixel.

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83

The Pixel 4a is our 2020 Smartphone of the Year

The Pixel 4a is our 2020 Smartphone of the Year

You could say with the Google Pixel 4a, Google was already up against long odds facing the outgoing Pixel 3a, a phone we also named our Editors' Choice phone of the year in 2019. And yet, the Pixel team did exactly that: the 4a is faster, better future-proofed (more RAM and storage), lasts longer on a charge, and is simply better designed than its predecessor, featuring a more modern display with impressively little bezel. Oh, and Google did all this for $50 less than the Pixel 3a. It was the definition of a smartphone homerun, and seven out of eight Android Police editors agreed (someone voted for the Z Fold2 ಠ_ಠ).

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45

Tip: The new Google Camera helps you align your phone for perfectly level shots

Tip: The new Google Camera helps you align your phone for perfectly level shots

Google recently released a big update for its Pixel camera, and it's packed with exciting new features, like a storage saver, better video effects, and some Pixel 5 and 4a 5G exclusives. But there's more — improvements to the existing framing hints are also rolling out. You may have already noticed that there are now two level indicators or two crosshairs, a familiar white variant and a new yellow one. You can use these to get perfectly level shots and top-down pictures. Here's how you do it.

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