Pixel 4 XL vs Pixel 3 XL: specs comparison

Pixel 4 XL vs Pixel 3 XL: specs comparison
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL release date is approaching and leaks about the upcoming next-gen Pixels have already started pouring in.

First, Google itself revealed pictures of the phones showing a new square-shape camera design for the Pixel 4 family, and lately, people in the know have spilled the beans to news outlets so much so that we now know almost all of the specs for the phones.

The Pixel 4 series hardware will be faster, but there will be completely new features too like the leaked Soli radar-based system that might introduce us to a completely new way to navigate your phone using gestures and possibly without ever touching the display.

We take a look at this and all other specs and features of the Pixel 4 and compare them against the Pixel 3 family right below. Read on.

*Specs are based on leaks and rumors. Final specs might differ.

What's New: Radar and Gesture Navigation

Groundbreaking new technology


The new Pixel 4 series might not have a notch, but instead you will get a gigantic bezel at the top of the phone. The reason for it is a complex radar system that continually scans its surroundings for gestures and registers them with great accuracy. We have seen other implementations of a gesture navigation, most recently from LG, but this new system is different in how fast it "sees" the gestures and the extreme accuracy that it has and its ability to even react to a tiny gesture.

And yes, this is a real radar. It works on the same principle as the big flight radars that detect airplane movements in the sky. Unfortunately, this was precisely why the FCC didn't let the Soli chip fly until December 31 2018, when it granted Google a waiver from some of its requirements for radars in the commercial 57-64 GHz frequency band with the following: 


Pixel 4 vs Pixel 3: Size & Screen

Almost same sizes, but 90Hz screens are the biggest change


Looking at the actual sizes of the upcoming Pixel 4 devices, it's obvious that Google will stick with two devices, a smaller and a larger one. The Pixel 4 will be just a tiny big larger than the current Pixel 3, but will still remain an incredibly compact phone that is convenient to use with a single hand. Interestingly, the Pixel 4 XL version will be a hair smaller than the current Pixel 3 XL, but again, it will be a big phone with a big screen.

The exact screen size on the Pixel 4 is 5.7 inches, just slightly bigger than the 5.5-inch display on last year's Pixel 3, while the Pixel 4 XL has a screen diagonal of 6.3 inches, the same size as on last year's XL model. The smaller phone will stick with a Full HD+ resolution, while the larger one will also offer a higher, Quad HD+ resolution. Those resolutions are the same that we had last year.

What's new, however, is that the Pixel 4 series will be the first Google phones to arrive with a 90 Hertz refresh rate for the screen. This is the same refresh rate that we've seen on phones like the OnePlus 7 Pro and this is certainly one of the most welcome additions to the actual user experience. It makes everything appear extra fast and smooth. As earlier Pixel phones, the Pixel 4 series will have AMOLED displays with vibrant colors and excellent viewing angles.

Processor, RAM and Storage

Faster, but depressingly scarce internal storage

Under the hood, the Pixel 4 will come with the newer Snapdragon 855 chip, an upgrade over the Snapdragon 845 chip in last year's model.

This is an expected update, and there is one more thing that is upgraded too: the RAM. Last year's Pixels only had 4 gigs on board, while this year we're moving to a more reasonable 6GB of RAM.

Expandable storage is not coming. Pixel phones have never supported microSD cards, so we can't say we are surprised to see this feature omitted once again this year.

What does bring us down is the rumored amount of on-board storage: you have 64 gigs of internal storage on the base model and 128 gigs for the pricier model. Compare this with the whopping 256GB RAM that you get in the base Note 10+ model and you can see that Google seems to have lost touch with modern realities. The limited amount of storage that is not upgradable will definitely be one of the weak points of the Pixel 4 experience.

Cameras

Software is Google's game, but it has new hardware this year too


On the back of the Pixel 4, you find a brand new camera array: a square shaped unit that bulges out and houses the regular Pixel camera plus one more, a 2X zoom telephoto lens that will help you get a clearer view when zoomed in and a more suitable perspective for portraits. Rumors also point to the existence of a third sensor, a time-of-flight (ToF) depth camera that will come in handy with augmented reality measurements and to get great background separation in portrait shots.

We are glad to see that Google is moving away from the single-camera setup it used in the last three years: more cameras do equal more versatility. In fact, we are missing a third camera on the Pixel, an ultra-wide angle shooter that many flagship phones these days have.

Battery

Not on par with the Huaweis and Samsungs

Last, but definitely not least, the battery sizes on the new Pixel 4 series have changed.

The smaller Pixel 4 has a 2,800mAh battery, slightly smaller than the 2,915mAh battery cell on the Pixel 3. The reason for this smaller battery probably lies in the extra space that the Soli radar module occupies at the top of the phone.

The Pixel 4 XL, on the other hand, sports a 3,700mAh battery, significantly larger than the 3,430mAh battery on the Pixel 3 XL.

Pixel phones have never had great battery life, and we are a bit disappointed to see Google fail behind the Huawei and Samsung phones of this world that these days offer 4,100mAh+ batteries on their flagship phones and are able to provide impressive battery life.

Conclusion



All in all, the Pixel 4 series is a gradual upgrade in the series: it's faster, it has a secondary camera for better-looking portraits, but most importantly, it puts a lot of focus on those radars that will be used for novel gesture navigation and for face recognition.

How will that work out and will it really hold any practical advantages? The Pixel 4 release date is expected to be in late October, so we'd have to wait and see.

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2800 mAh
Pixel 4 XL
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh

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17 Comments

1. John.v2

Posts: 45; Member since: Sep 08, 2014

Outdated specs... Outdated phone... Camera results won't be far superior than a pixel 2xl.... But will charge a pretty penny... It's a phone for nerds and YouTubers anyway... Won't be a success in such competitive market. Like its predecessor

3. User123456789

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Except Galaxy S, Huawei P, Huawei Mate and iphones ; no other flagship is success of sales.

8. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This is a Pixel, which has had one camera, and could smoke other camera systems with 2 or more cameras. I was hoping for 128 GB at least for a base storage. The 6 GB should have been 8 GB, but I really like the radar, and I hope Google still has a finger print scanner, and if it's not on the back, then at least have it under the display. The more options the better. A another FaceID thing is one thing, but I prefer to use a finger print scanner. So if it doesn't come with a finger print scanner, then I will probably pass on the Pixel 4.

12. DroidudeAZ

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 05, 2016

It won't have an auxiliary fingerprint sensor, just the radar based one.

15. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I know Soli can tell what you are doing with your fingers and it can track the movement of your fingers. But that is a far cry from looking at the pattern that makes up your actual finger print. Now if it can read my finger print as well, then that is one accurate and wicked radar sensor. I also hope it has a ToF camera for both AR and VR.

6. Georgio

Posts: 276; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

This phone is not outdated! Really,are you ok? What did you smoke?

25. Brewski

Posts: 722; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

Yes, it is. QC855 - 855+ is the new one. 6GB RAM - Should be at least 8GB. (ROG phone II has 12GB) 64GB storage - Should be at least 128GB Less than 4,000 Mah battery - Again, ROG II has 6,000 Mah Lots of bezels No expandable memory

7. andrewc31394

Posts: 301; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Can someone fire the Google hardware team please? Google is a bout to launch a flagship with 6GB of RAM which is less than any flagship (and even some midrangers) and the battery in the non XL has gotten even smaller.

2. IT-Engineer

Posts: 569; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

I'm quite excited about the radar system, whether hacking it can give a full radar image of the person's surroundings.

9. KickRocks

Posts: 283; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Amex is ready, can't wait for October, bring it Google

13. DroidudeAZ

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 05, 2016

I wish Phonearena and other online tech sites would quit saying that XYZ phone has giant bezels. The bezel on top of the Pixel 4 is quite small compared to phones that were out a year or two ago. I honestly prefer a little bezel, it makes accidentally actuating something on the screen less likely. I really wish there was an identically sized bezel at the bottom so both speakers are front firing, not just the top one. It seems like Google is just doing enough spec wise to tread water. It could use more RAM still, bigger batteries and brighter screens, all Achilles heels in the past. Lets see how it goes with the Pixel 4.

14. Blazers

Posts: 764; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

He's not lying....it is a huge bezel. My 2yr old Note8 has a smaller top bezel then this one.

24. TBomb

Posts: 1650; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I think it will be a Note 8 sized bezel up top.

16. ev0trix

Posts: 30; Member since: Sep 08, 2015

Wait, so the "excuse" for the smaller battery (from Pixel 3) on the Pixel 4 is for Soli. Yet the 4XL, also with Soli, has an increased battery ? *scratches head Im one of those people who prefers smaller phones but seems like this is a push from google to make you buy the XL version.

18. sunnyfpy

Posts: 291; Member since: May 12, 2013

Ridiculous specs 2019...RIP

19. farewell

Posts: 3; Member since: Jul 22, 2016

The 4's battery is too small, image running a 5'7 screen device on a 2800mAh battery lol

23. ankit1432

Posts: 34; Member since: Aug 28, 2019

Why do people want to compare the higher version of the smartphone with the lowest? Offcourse pixel 4 has good specs compared to 3.

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