Battery Life

Battery life of the Pixel 4 series was a concern from the very first moment we had confirmation about the phone having a 90Hz panel, yet doing nothing special or even regressing in terms of the battery capacity of the two models. I put the Pixel 4 XL through the paces in all three display modes, testing the battery life at 60Hz, 90Hz auto, and 90Hz forced refresh rates.

Web Browsing Battery Life 2016 (WiFi)

Unfortunately, as expected, the results aren’t too fantastic. The device that we should be comparing things to is the OnePlus 7 Pro – both devices feature 1440p 90Hz displays with the same SoC, it’s just that the Pixel 4 XL has a smaller battery at 3700mAh. While the Pixel 4 XL is lagging behind the OP7Pro, the interesting thing is that Google’s 90Hz seemingly uses less of a power hit than OnePlus’ implementation, degrading by 7.7% versus 8.7% when comparing full 90Hz versus 60Hz.

Given the results and the fact that Google dual-sources with LG, I very much doubt the Pixel 4 XL is taking advantage of Samsung’s newest more efficient OLED emitter generation which is said to be 15% more efficient.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Battery Life

In PCMark, the results are also average to bad. 60Hz to full 90Hz incurs a 12.3% penalty, which is again slightly less than the 13.6% of the OnePlus 7 Pro. Naturally we can’t come to a conclusion of saying Google’s 90Hz is more efficient, maybe OnePlus’ 60Hz power management is just better implemented.

Battery Life Conclusion - Average to meagre, still useable for the 4 XL

Overall, the Pixel 4 XL’s battery life isn’t very competitive. It’s amongst the worst results we’ve had for a 2019 device. I have to be accountable to myself here as whilst the phone has worse battery life than the OP7Pro, it’s not that much worse. Having said that the OP7Pro battery life was still completely useable, the Pixel 4 XL is also still very useable as it is. The problem again is that the Pixel came 6 months later, and in the face of a new iPhone generation which brought immense leaps in battery life, the Pixel 4 XL doesn’t seem to be that wise a purchase.

I really find it unfortunate that we weren’t able to test the battery life of the smaller Pixel 4. This model’s 2800mAh battery is 25% smaller and also comes with the wildcard of having an LG panel which historically have always been less power efficient. I can easily imagine that the battery life of that model is outright disastrous, and given coverage by other reviewers, it seem this would be an apt description of the situation.

Display Measurement Camera - Daylight Evaluation
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  • yacoub35 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    The OnePlus 7T crushes the Pixel 4 in every aspect of hardware except stupid gimmicks like "radar". So glad I gave that a shot after being disappointed with the Pixel 4's reveal. Super happy with the 7T.
  • Toss3 - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    Except for the camera which is very important for most users. If the S11 doesn't come with a VRR 120Hz screen, I might just wait and get an iPhone (never owned an iPhone before). Not sure how all of these manufacturers continue to mess up, especially Google.
  • milkywayer - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    I love the 7. Only reason I had to drop it was lack of proper water resistance. I could probably put up with a mediocre camera but water proofing is a must with a toddler.
  • hecksagon - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    Yet still can't make a home screen you can customize.
  • Pooppoot - Saturday, November 9, 2019 - link

    I have a Pixel 4 XL and the battery isn't actually a problem to me. It last pretty much a day for me and I have those features turned on!
  • DnaAngel - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    With Soli(motion sense), Now Playing and Live Transscribe turned off, I get almost 2 full days on a single charge of my 4XL even with 90hz on. A far cry from my 3XL's SoT which was abysmal.
  • willis936 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Maybe google should try fixing their software too. You’d think money makers like play music wouldn’t so horribly unstable. It’s not like they’re hurting for cash. Something is going very wrong over there. I’m sure I’ll learn what in season 6 of silicon valley.
  • peevee - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    They've hired a lot of humanity major SJWs instead of good engineers. Google is now rotten inside.
  • chrnochime - Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - link

    Had to look up SJW. HAHA rotten inside...Would've been a much more fitting metaphor for Apple but ironically Apple is on their A game with the Iphone so.
  • DnaAngel - Sunday, December 15, 2019 - link

    Really? because I see article after article of all the issues Apple is having right now, many of them with the iPhone 11.

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