Face unlock for Google's Pixel 4 series of phones just keeps breaking. Some claim the Android 11 upgrade is to blame while others point fingers at more recent monthly updates. A reboot can temporarily fix the issue for some, while others are experiencing the problem in tandem with symptoms associated with the seemingly still-unfixed device sensor issue.
November updates are rolling out now for Google's Pixels, and that includes the brand-new Pixel 5 and 4a 5G. Functional patch notes mention a whole pile of fixes for both new phones, as well as older Pixels. That includes fixes for the screen waking at certain times when it shouldn't, inadvertently hidden system navigation during full-screen playback, issues with ringer audio for starred contacts in DND mode, and resolutions for a handful of Android Auto bugs. As expected, the Pixel 2 and 2 XL have no update this month.
Google's smartphone strategy has always been a bit haphazard, but this year represents the company's greatest departure yet. The Pixel 5 is aimed at a lower price point than the Pixel 4 and 4 XL were, which means some features were cut. So, if you have a Pixel 4, will you get a worse phone if you buy the Pixel 5? That's what we'll attempt to answer here.
Google's latest, greatest Pixel phone is really only one of those things—after catching flack for the poor value of the Pixel 4, Google scaled back on the Pixel 5. Gone are features like Face Match, Ambient EQ, and perhaps most importantly, the telephoto camera. Instead, the Pixel 5 has a wide/ultrawide combo, and some people might prefer that. However, it's a disadvantage if you want to take photos of things from a distance.
Google tends to play it safe when it comes to the design of its Pixel lineup, but that doesn't mean Pixel owners have to settle for a boring look. While most folks wouldn't consider Google's hardware design very exciting, there's no denying that the company's official fabric cases look a lot more fetching. And right now, the Google Store is offering 50% off Pixel 4 and Pixel 3a fabric cases, dropping the price to just $20.
Despite Google officially discontinuing the Pixel 4 and 4 XL in favor of the more modern Pixel 5, these handsets remain capable and still boast respectable specs. In fact, the devices aren't even a year old, making them perfectly decent phones to purchase. A standard Pixel 4 actually cost a whopping $800 when it came out, while you can now snatch one for as low as $449 on Amazon.
Last December, Google released its first feature drop for Pixel devices, kicking off a routine of bringing new capabilities to the phones each quarter. Included in the first drop was something called auto-framing for Google Duo. With auto-framing enabled, you can walk further away from your device, and Duo will zoom in to keep you focused and even follow you around the room so long as you stay within the shot. This feature had always been exclusive to Pixel 4, but it's now available on Samsung's Galaxy S20 range.
In the Pixel 4a's announcement post, Google said that the new Assistant, which had been only available in English and Japanese so far, would "soon" support four new languages. Nearly two months later, that promise is materializing. You can now use the faster and cleaner Assistant in French, German, Italian, and Spanish.