Google's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL were revealed at an event in mid-October - a year on from the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

How do they compare to their predecessors though and is it worth upgrading if you have one of the 2018 flagship Google devices? Here are the specifications for the Pixel 4 and 4 XL against the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

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Design

  • Pixel 3: 145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9mm
  • Pixel 3 XL: 158 x 76.7 x 7.9mm
  • Pixel 4: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2mm 
  • Pixel 4 XL: 160.4 x 75.1 x 8.2mm

The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL look different to the Pixel 3 and 3 XL in terms of design, though the new devices still retain the Pixel design language we have seen since the original devices.

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL feature a square camera housing with dual cameras in the top left corner however, while the 2018 devices have a single camera lens. The Pixel 4 XL also ditches the notch at the top of its display - which the Pixel 3 XL has - and replaces it with a bezel to fit in the Google Soli chip and the extra sensors found on the Pixel 4 handsets.

There is also no two-tone rear on the Pixel 4 devices, which both the Pixel 3 and 3 XL offer, and there is a black frame sandwiched between the glass front and rear, offering a more unique finish than the 2018 devices.

Like the Pixel 3 and 3 XL however, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL have a coloured power button, no 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C. There is no physical fingerprint sensor on the rear of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL however - a feature we've seen on the Pixel devices since their launch. Instead, they opt for Face unlock as the only biometric option, so no under-display sensor either.

Display

  • Pixel 3: 5.5-inch, Full HD+, 60Hz
  • Pixel 3 XL: 6.3-inch, Quad HD+, 60Hz
  • Pixel 4: 5.7-inch, Full HD+, 90Hz
  • Pixel 4 XL: 6.3-inch, Quad HD+, 90Hz 

The Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL both have a bezel at the top and bottom of their displays in order to fit in those extra sensors we mentioned. 

The Pixel 4 has a display 5.7-inch display, while the Pixel 4 XL's display is set at 6.3-inches, meaning the Pixel 4 offers a slight increase on the Pixel 3's 5.5-inch display, while the Pixel 4 XL sticks with the same size as the Pixel 3 XL but without the notch.

Both Pixel 4 devices offer a 90Hz refresh rate like the OnePlus 7T, which should deliver a much smoother experience than the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL models and their 60Hz refresh rates.

In terms of resolution, the Pixel 4 has a Full HD+ resolution like the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 4 XL has a Quad HD+ resolution like the Pixel 3 XL. 

Cameras

  • Pixel 3/3 XL: 12.2MP rear, Dual 8MP front
  • Pixel 4/4 XL: 12.2MP+16MP rear, 8MP front

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL both have a dual rear camera within a square camera housing, rather than a single sensor like the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

The dual rear camera on the new devices is comprised of a 12.2-megapixel sensor and a 16-megapixel telephoto sensor, while the Pixel 3 and 3 XL both have a 12.2-megapixel sensor. 

On the front, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL offers an 8-megapixel single camera lens. Both the Pixel 3 and 3 XL have dual 8-megapixel front cameras featuring wide-angle and telephoto lenses. 

Given how great the Pixel 3 camera results are, we're expecting great things from the Pixel 4 and 4 XL. The new devices come with improvements to features like Night Sight, as well as a couple of other features.

Hardware

  • Pixel 3/3 XL: SD845, 4GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB storage, no microSD
  • Pixel 4/4 XL: SD855, 6GB RAM, 64GB and 128GB, no microSD

The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL both run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 6GB RAM, while the Pixel 3 and 3 XL run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with 4GB of RAM support. 

There is no microSD support on any of the devices, but all come in 64GB and 128GB storage options. 

The Pixel 4 has a 2800mAh battery, while the Pixel 4 XL has a 3700mAh battery. The Pixel 3 has a 2915mAh battery, while the 3 XL has a 3430mAh battery so the Pixel 4 drop the capacity compared to its predecessor, while the Pixel 4 XL increases it. Wireless charging support is present on all four devices.

Software

  • Android 10

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL run Android 10 but the Pixel 3 and 3 XL will be updated to Android 10, meaning all devices being compared in this feature will offer the same software experience.

The Pixel 4 and 4 XL have a few extra functions though, including Face unlock and motion gestures. There's also a recording app exclusive to Pixels for audio recording, transcribing and searching.

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Conclusion

The Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL come with a refreshed design, offering new colours, a new finish for the frame and a new camera setup on the rear. The new devices also offer a faster display refresh rate, new software features like Face unlock and motion gestures, as well as a hardware upgrade in terms of processor and RAM over the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.

There isn't a huge amount of change to the battery capacities. In fact, the Pixel 3 has a larger capacity to the Pixel 4, and the storage options are the same too. There is also no fingerprint sensor on the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, which is great in terms of design, but apps will need to adopt the Face unlock feature, which could take some time.

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL will also likely drop in price now the Pixel 4 and 4 XL are here and while the new devices are the better options on paper, you might find the older devices are better suited to you depending on your budget and what features you're bothered about.