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Google Pixel 4

158

(Update: Fixed) The Pixel 4's camera has serious white balance problems (gallery)

Google has been pouring a lot of effort into nailing down photo processing on its flagships since it started building its own phones. In the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, the company may have added too many intelligent camera features for their own good. It introduced a new machine-learning-based white balance algorithm that is supposed to produce more natural-looking images under harsh lighting conditions, but as it turns out, some edge cases can end up looking worse instead.

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48

Pixel 4 Motion Sense causes a persistent battery icon in fullscreen YouTube videos (lolwut)

The Pixel 4 has a number of annoyances, but depending on how you feel about constantly visible battery status icons, you may or may not like this one. When you're watching a fullscreen YouTube video on the Pixel 4, you might see a dim battery indicator in the top right corner. Getting rid of it is quite counterintuitive: you need to deactivate Motion Sense's "skip song" feature. Conversely, if you'd like seeing the battery indicator while watching YouTube videos, you need to turn on the Motion Sense feature (if you haven't already).

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2

Tip: Double tap the Live Caption overlay to see more lines of text

Live Caption is one of the most interesting features introduced on the Pixel 4, and it's great that it's coming to the Pixel 3 and 3a line, as well. By default, it only shows you two lines of live-transcribed text, which might be enough in most circumstances. But if you ever need to see more context, you can double tap the overlay to make it display eight lines of text.

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162

Pixel 4 Xposed module lets you use face unlock in apps that only support fingerprint authentication

The Pixel 4 is the first Android phone to feature a proper secure face unlock mechanism that can't be easily fooled by pictures or similar looking people. To enable authentication in banking apps or password managers, this technology requires Android 10's new biometrics API. Since it's different from the previous fingerprint API, there are only a handful of applications that already support it. A new Xposed module provides a workaround for unsupported apps that aren't yet compatible with the Pixel 4's face unlock. The only caveat: it requires root access.

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37

Pixel 4's Screen Attention won't come to older Google phones

Among quite a collection of interesting Motion Sense features that use both a radar chip and the front camera, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL also come with a screen attention function that keeps the display on as long as you're looking at it. It looks like this feature doesn't use the Soli radar and relies solely on the front camera, so so there's nothing stopping it from being deployed to older Pixel phones. We asked Google about it, and unfortunately, it confirmed to us that it doesn't have any plans to expand it beyond the Pixel 4 for now.

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8

Google Pay adds biometric authentication for sending money in Android 10 [APK Download]

You've been able to send money via Google Pay for a while now in the US and India, but so far, you could only protect your transactions with a PIN. The latest Google Pay version, 2.100, is looking to change that. It's adding support for Android 10's new biometrics API so you can use your fingerprint or face to authenticate transactions instead.

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16

AT&T adds eSIM support for the Pixel 4 to coincide with the phone's launch

Starting with the Pixel 2 from 2017, Google has been embedding an eSIM into all of its Pixel phones. Although eSIM has been touted for its many virtues — changing one's carrier remotely without a physical SIM card and enablement of the dual-SIM dual-standby feature — its adoption rate from US carriers has been very slow and limited to select devices. After skipping over the Pixel 3 phones last year, AT&T has added the Pixel 4 to the list of supported eSIM devices.

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32

Don't hold your breath for Android 10 TWRP on the Pixel 3 and 4

A custom recovery such as TWRP allows you to install custom ROMs and root your devices more easily. Unfortunately, the development of the software for the Pixel 4 and 3 on Android 10 has hit major roadblocks. Some changes in Google's implementation of the recovery and personal circumstances of the main contributor to TWRP could mean that it'll take a while until it's available.

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206

Pixel 4 hands-on: Remember what they say about pre-orders

A lot is riding on Google's Pixel 4. Last year's Pixel 3 didn't sell well, to put it lightly, and we've made it clear that the phones need to grow up when it comes to the historical laundry list of issues that seem to debut with each new model. While you'll need to wait a bit longer for our full, embargo-bound assessment, we have some preliminary thoughts about Google's latest phone.

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254

[Update 2x: Original story correct] The new Google Assistant only works with gesture navigation

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL have been revealed this Tuesday, and they'll bring a faster and more powerful Google Assistant along. It should understand you better with the help of local speech processing and you won't need to keep saying "OK Google" over and over again. However, if you're a fan of the good ol' three-button navigation, you'll be left out in the cold. According to a Google support document, the new Assistant requires gesture navigation to work.

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