Everything The Pixel 4 Can Do That Other Androids Can't

Google Pixel 4 XLImage: Google

The Pixel 4 is shaping up to be one of this year's most exciting phone releases. It's finally being released this week after months of leaks and while it runs on Android, Google injects a bit more flavour into its own phones when compared to other devices running on the system. To sum it all up, here are some of the features only available on the Pixel 4 when it's released.

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Motion Sense

New with the Pixel 4 is Motion Sense, allowing you to control your phone without actually touching it. Using a Soli radar in the top of the phone, it can detect your hand's movements. For example, using the Quick Gestures feature means you can skip or replay songs, snooze alarms and swerve unwanted incoming calls.

To turn it on, you'll have to head to Settings, then System and Motion Sense. As a side note, it's not available in Japan so if you travel there with the phone, it'll be disabled.

Face Unlock

Unlocking phones with your face isn't actually a new feature but how it works with Motion Sense is. On Pixel 4 phones, if you reach out toward your phone, Motion Sense will trigger the Face Unlock feature so your phone will instantly scan your face and unlock it ideally before you even bring it your face for use.

To turn it on, navigate to Settings, then Face Unlock and then Set up face unlock. As the feature uses facial recognition technology and requires your biometric data, Google has said that information is stored within the phone's security chip, Titan M, and is never sent to Google.

Live Pokémon wallpapers

Google has teamed up with Pokémon to allow you to have a little Pokémon companion as your wallpaper. While not quite as interactive as Nintendogs or a Tamagotchi, the feature allows you to interact with five pals, Pikachu, Eevee as well as the Sword and Shield starter Pokémon, Grookey, Scorbunny and Sobble. You can wave at them and they'll wave back and just like a regular pet, they'll be excited to greet you when you pick up the phone.

To enable your Pokémon pals, head to Settings, Display, Styles & Wallpapers, Wallpaper, Come Alive and then download when you see that Pikachu. You're welcome.

Astrophotography

Image: Google

While the Pixel 4's camera doesn't wow specs-wise when stacked up against the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, for example, its got some impressive new features such as astrophotography. The camera mode uses a mixture of ultra-long exposure and AI to help enhance galaxy photos but you'll need to keep it incredibly still with a tripod or prop to make it work.

When in the phone's camera, select the Night Sight setting and set up a tripod or makeshift prop. Doing this in an area with plenty of light pollution, like a city or urban centre, might not work so well so it's best to test out in areas with less night lights, like during your camping trips to the country or bush.

Android 10

Yes, the Android 10 is due to be released on other devices soon but for the moment, only Pixel phones, including the Pixel 4, will have access to it. It's another thing Google cheekily gives to Pixel devices first before rolling out to other Android-powered phones.

Right now the following devices are compatible with the update:

  • Pixel
  • Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4 XL

Android 10 wasn't quite the update it was suggested to be but it did include some pretty handy features such as improved navigation, a system-wide dark mode and live captions for videos without them.

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