Pixel 4 XL bend test reveals Google's newest flagship has a shocking durability problem

Pixel 4 XL bend test reveals Google's newest flagship has a shocking durability problem
As if Google didn't get enough flak already for overpricing the Pixel 4 duo and underdelivering in terms of innovation, as well as basic features like storage space and battery size, the latest signature JerryRigEverything durability test seems to suggest you might be better off buying a Pixel 3a if you care about build quality.

Somehow, while the search giant's budget-friendly mid-ranger managed to pass Zack Nelson's grueling bend test with flying colors, the significantly costlier Pixel 4 XL cracked in not one, not two, and not three but four different places under pressure. We're talking pressure applied with Nelson's bare hands, which may have been enough to destroy a number of high-end devices back in the days of the iPhone 6 but should no longer be a problem for an $800+ product.

Indeed, most modern flagships (and even the vast majority of affordable mid-end phones) can survive these bend attempts largely unscathed, but shockingly enough, that's not what we can say about the already divisive Google Pixel 4 XL. Although the stock Android-running handset still works fine after suffering quite a bit of structural damage, said damage shouldn't happen in the first place. Or at least it shouldn't be that easy to produce.

 

Apparently, the weak points are the antenna lines running across the metal frame, which Google was careful enough to conceal under a thick coat of paint while neglecting the reinforcement aspect. Obviously, Pixel 4 XL owners are advised to avoid trying to replicate this durability examination if they care about their seemingly unwise investment, but one thing you might not be able to dodge is dropping, abusing, or mishandling the phone in ways most devices are "tortured" in day-to-day scenarios. 

Those of you familiar with Zack Nelson's work may remember last year's Pixel 3 XL durability test wasn't completely uneventful either, but we can't help wonder if a case will be enough to keep the Pixel 4 and 4 XL intact in the long run. For what it's worth, the handset is otherwise pretty well-constructed, with a screen protected by top-notch Gorilla Glass 5 technology, a totally scratch-resistant rear camera module, and even a nice plastic buffer layer slotted between the display and metal frame to help protect the front glass during drops.

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18 Comments

2. XP007

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 21, 2019

Meanwhile cheap Chinese phone with pop up camera from Xiaomi passed the same durability test.

3. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

So wow the phone can't survive a man physically snapping it and now it's considered quality control. What's wing with people these days an the out of control testing. Mines well throw the phone at a brick wall and if the screen shatters say display not as strong.

10. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Bend tests replicate normal use issues inside pockets. I know you probably dont do athletic things but some people do and phone bending is a great concern to us.

4. TBomb

Posts: 1632; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

"seemingly unwise investment"??? come onnnnn

6. Georgio

Posts: 274; Member since: Nov 21, 2016

I can brake any phone like that , what a load of c..p

18. DBozz

Posts: 102; Member since: Sep 19, 2019

hmmm hmmmm... can u try it with galaxies or iphones?? u will only s**t than breaking it...

7. MsPooks

Posts: 206; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

Why is this surprising? Pixel has always been mediocre hardware, beta software, questionable QC, at flagship prices.

9. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Why are antenna lines a weakness with a glass back?

11. HNIC215

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 17, 2019

Google really messed up with the Pixel 4, what a disappointing phone.

12. Whitedot

Posts: 857; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Wow, what a FLOP!!!

16. Tipus

Posts: 899; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

Pixel 3a is really good phone. With Pixel google really messed up, smh :))

17. Vancetastic

Posts: 1698; Member since: May 17, 2017

But hey, that CAMERA!

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