Even more than the Nexus phones before it, the Pixel phones, designed and “Made by Google”, are supposed to represent the ideal Android phone. At least as Google sees it. That definitely works on the software side but by making its own phone, Google is risking that the overall package may be tarnished by the hardware. That may exactly be the case with the Pixel 4 XL whose price tag would make you presume it had more to offer.
It’s hard to miss the disappointment in Zack Nelson’s voice. As a fan of headphone jacks, microSD card slots, and more cameras, it’s not difficult to understand how the Pixel strikes all the wrong notes for him. It doesn’t help that people can’t seem to agree whether Apple or Google did the “square camera bump in the corner” design first.
Those are nothing compared to the structural and durability problems the Pixel 4 XL has. The painted sides would chip far sooner than anodized metal, which means you’ll probably want more than a skin on the phone’s back. In fact, you’ll want a thick case for what happened next.
The Pixel 4 XL admittedly didn’t break in half. It only cracked in four places where the plastic antennas cross the midframe at the sides. Such a design isn’t exactly new and the break was done so easily that it’s a wonder Google missed such a design flaw.
Of course, users probably won’t try to snap their Pixel 4 XLs in half but accidents do happen. And for a phone that starts at $899 at its lowest, you’d probably hope it would at least be built to last.