The Pixel 4 and 4 XL deserve support for at least one more Android update because they are the second-most powerful smartphones in the Made by Google portfolio. Here’s why.

Given Samsung’s newly enhanced commitment to software updates, it’s simple to feel resentful when considering Google’s own update pledges. The greatest for Android in a while was three full OS updates and an additional year of security patches. While it’s simple to gripe about that, the Pixel 4 series is a great example of a product that lost software support much earlier than it should have.

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ONE OF THESE IS DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER (S) The Pixel 4 is not like Google’s flagships from before 2021, and this is the root of the issue. Even though the Pixel 4a 5G, 5, and 5a were released in 2019, the step-down and realignment of the Pixel series means that even while you lose out on ultrafast cellular 5G connectivity, the earlier smartphones still offer more power without making certain sacrifices.

The Pixel 4 is positioned just below the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro in the performance charts. It now has the odd position of being the second-most powerful smartphone in the Made by Google lineup. Android 13 is expected to be released, but the less powerful Pixel 4a 5G, 5 and 5a have a wider support window than the Pixel 4 and 4 XL.

The Pixel 4 series has more in common with the Pixel 6 than the devices produced in between, even without properly comparing the finest of 2019 with the late-2021 cohort. The Pixel 4 with an FHD screen and the Pixel 4 XL with a QHD display are two examples of small and large gadgets. There is one significant commonality, even though the camera technologies aren’t nearly directly comparable: Pixel Neural Core. The processing of photos and videos on the device is greatly improved.

pixel 4 support

This means that despite using the same Sony IMX363 primary sensor and nearly equal software-based calibration, the whole 2020 Pixel device lineup has a technically slower or inferior camera system. It’s simple to argue that the Pixel 4 and 4 XL were slightly undervalued. The only real flaw was the inconsistent battery longevity. Apart from that, it improved the Pixel experience thanks to its trademark camera system, humorous design, and smooth 90Hz AMOLED screen.

On cellphones, the addition of the Soli radar chip was a fascinating experiment that ultimately failed. However, it does mean that you have access to a few really exclusive gesture-based capabilities that you won’t find on any other Pixel. It has led to more uses in other Made by Google gear like the Nest Hub 2nd Gen. From a direct use and daily experience standpoint, Soli doesn’t significantly alter the Pixel 4.

Another significant differentiation that was advertised as arriving with the Pixel 6 Pro is Face Unlock. Although it’s unclear when we’ll see 3D face unlock technology on Pixel devices again, it’s much faster, more precise, and more dependable than the in-display fingerprint reader used by the Pixel 6 series. The lack of fresh software releases to benefit from the technology enabled by radar suggests that this won’t change anytime soon.

The Pixel 4 series appears to be a more appealing option than the Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, and Pixel 5a, at least on paper. If you opt out of 5G connectivity, you’ll receive a premium Pixel with a better-than-average camera, the most recent Android update, quick Face Unlock, a good 90Hz AMOLED screen, and an all-around more powerful SoC.

That’s a long way of saying that even while the Pixel 4 isn’t quite a flagship by 2022 standards, it still has plenty of power to offer when compared to older models and everything but the most recent and finest. Support for the somewhat more powerful Pixel 4 should not be a problem if Android 14 can operate on the Pixel 5 and, consequently, the 4a 5G and 5a.

DEDICATEDNESS TO SUSTAINABILITY Google has been actively working toward increase the usage of recycled and sustainably sourced materials for the Pixel line and first-party hardware in recent years. Given the prevalence of technology in our daily lives, they are all significant and vital advances in the proper approach, from optional cases to the heavy metals utilized in the Pixel line.

Expanding the support window for current smartphones like the Pixel 4 rather than concentrating only on new or incoming technology is the ideal place to start, though, if Google is really serious about sustainability or even environmental issues.

Software upgrades are another less expensive and more effective option for IT companies to be more environmentally conscious. The Pixel series has not been impacted by Google’s previous efforts with Qualcomm to lessen the effort needed to deploy the most recent Android versions to older CPUs. Therefore, even while this work improves the ability to deliver monthly patches, it is unquestionably more necessary to provide additional support given the unique conditions surrounding the Pixel 4 series.

In actuality, introducing new items shouldn’t always take precedence if sustainability is to be taken seriously. Naturally, that is easier said than done, but in order to make any significant progress in this area, brands need be given more credit than consumers.


pixel 4 support

I have no illusions that the larger Pixel and Android teams at Google will ignore my request, complaint, or irritation. That being said, strong product PR is always a cause to make a constructive change like this, especially with a supposedly expanding userbase and ardent fans.

Updating the Android support term would be a great way to please current customers and even entice potential purchases if Google is focused on competing with Apple in the small number of markets the Pixel is being marketed in. Even my coworker Ben Schoon confirms the same, focusing on the most current Pixel 6 series. A Galaxy is the best choice if you want a phone that will last the longest.

Increasing support for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL would be a tremendous PR gain and make a lot of logical sense, despite the fact that this is an isolated instance. The Android OS developers will have less excuses going ahead when it comes to device update windows, especially because Samsung will keep its own four OS update commitment. Sure, this could have some unwanted side consequences. Looking backwards to clear up some murky errors is not a terrible thing.

A disorganized 2020 lineup has forced Google into a difficult situation in several respects. This places the Pixel 4 and 4 XL in a support bind that is reminiscent of the predicament faced by many Chinese OEM devices when a newer, shinier variant is released. Putting away the hyperbole, it isn’t exactly accurate given that Android 13 will mark the first of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL’s three pre-approved OS updates. Android 11, Android 12, Android 12.L, and Android 13 will soon be available. When the device pair first reached the shelves in 2019, that commitment was perfect.

Specifications have never really been the driving force behind what makes the Pixel Experience unique. The internal hardware, however, surpasses that of the Pixel 4a, 4a 5G, and, to a lesser extent, the future Pixel 6a. The lightest flavor of Android might shine best with 6GB of RAM and a former top processor. The Pixel 4 and 4 XL will undoubtedly surpass any minimum specifications set forth by Android 14 if they exist.

Apple’s continued support for older models has long been an embarrassment to Android. Google should take action in response to Samsung’s aggressive efforts to extend the support windows for its prior flagship lines. The Pixel 4 is the ideal platform to begin with.

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