The Pixel 4 hits end of life after three years of service

The Pixel 4 is officially hitting his end of life this month after three short years of service. We sometimes see these dead Google phones get one more final update before Google cuts the cord, but the October 2022 Android Update is the end of the line here.

The Pixel 4 was a big batch of Google experiments masquerading as a consumer product, and we didn’t take it kindly. It was the first (and only) Google phone to attempt to copy Apple’s FaceID by using a grid of IR dots and additional hardware to scan the user’s face. The system was much slower than the Pixel 3’s fingerprint reader and oddly enough it worked in sleeping people for several months after launch.

The Pixel 4 was the first and only Google phone to integrate “Project Soli,” a small Google radar chip that can detect motion. Lab versions of Soli promised that the technology could capture “sub-millimeter finger movements,” but the commercial implementation in the Pixel 4 could only (sometimes) capture giant arm movements. Soli lives on Google’s smart screens for sleep tracking, but the phone version is dead. Combine that with very high prices for both device sizes ($800 and $900) and very small batteries (2,800 mAh and 3,700 mAh), and you have the makings of a very bad device.

We have to give the Pixel 4 the “worst Pixel ever” title for having some dubious distinctions. It was for sale for only nine and a half months before being discontinued, making it the shortest-lived Pixel and creating two months of dead space between the Pixel 4’s discontinuation and the Pixel 5’s launch. Prior to the Pixel 4’s launch, Google’s senior vice president of hardware, Rick Osterloh, would have made a meeting of all and told his employees that he “didn’t agree with some of the decisions made about the phone” and that he was “particularly disappointed with the battery.” That meeting, described as “rare internal criticism” from Osterloh, prompted two top Pixel executives, general manager Mario Queiroz and camera lead Marc Levoy, to resign from the team.

tracking device, pixel 5depicted Google abandoning the high-end smartphone market for the next year as the group licked its wounds and regrouped to (better) Pixel 6 launching in 2021. Pixel 4 was the nadir for the Pixel division, but Google is managing to turn things around. At I/O 2022, google mentioned that the Pixel 6, which was only seven months old at the time, was “the fastest-selling Pixel ever” and had already outsold the Pixel 4 and 5 combined.

Three years is not nearly enough time for phone support. The iPhone is supported for about six years, while Samsung supports its phones for four years of major Android updates and an additional year of security updates. Even Google’s current Pixel 6 plan is worse than Samsung’s; it offers just three years of major operating system updates and an additional two years of security updates.

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