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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  • MooseNSquirrel - Sunday, November 17, 2019 - link

    Just when you think comments cant get any dumber, one gets proven wrong.
  • MScrip - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    -- "I dunno if they're smurfing to not upset their partners..."

    Their partners sell 300 million units a quarter or 1.2 billion units a year.

    Meanwhile... Google is lucky to sell 12 million Pixels the entire year.

    So I'm not really sure the partners are worried about the Pixel... :)
  • surt - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    But the question is, would Google eat into partner sales if they made a good phone?
  • MScrip - Sunday, November 10, 2019 - link

    Even if Google somehow quadrupled their sales... that's still a pitiful 48 million units per year.

    Samsung can sell that many in TWO MONTHS. And that is *just* Samsung.

    We haven't even mentioned Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and the countless other vendors who contribute to the 1.2 BILLION units sold per year.

    So I don't think Google can do anything to "eat into" partner sales. There's simply too many of them.

    Pixel 5 could be the greatest Android phone ever made... but it's not gonna put a dent in partner sales.
  • austonia - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    Pixel4-XL-128GB here. better compared to the iPhone Pro\XL, which is more expensive for models above 64GB, but then have more storage and extra camera.

    the Google hardware seems pretty serious to me. first non-Apple with real face unlock (Soli-accelerated), squeeze for assistant, 90hz amoled at 1440p, Pixel Neural Core, 6GB RAM, etc. but of course the main draw is software and integration... it just works, and more sensibly than iPhone, IMO.
  • Spencer1 - Sunday, November 17, 2019 - link

    I wish people would stop spouting this nonsense. Are we pretending the Huawei Mate 20 Pro with its full array of dot projected 3D facial scanning didn’t exist?
  • 727200 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Ouch. I really don't understand Google's approach with regards to the Pixel line, especially the 4. I can swallow the fact that it's not the most bleeding edge processor in lieu of decent software. But they really sold themselves short with the 4. Soli is half baked, so is the 90hz panel regulation, and then you double down by excluding a fingerprint reader? Oh, and ZERO headphone adapter? All for a flagship price?? It screams "me too" while implementing terrible differentiation (aside from the camera). I'll pass.
  • ElBerryKM13 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Apple releases devices with 64gb "Oh so innovative, what a company" Google pixes releases 64gb "device is stuck in the past"
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    "Unfortunately, the storage tiers this year also remain the same, at 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. I do find it extremely conservative of Apple to continue the 64GB base model given that the majority of the competition has switched over to 128GB as a minimum."
  • bji - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    Why bother with evidence? Haters are gonna delude themselves into hating no matter the facts.

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