This time last year I wrote a column titled, â€œIf you got a Pixel 4 for Christmas, you should probably return it.â€� I didnâ€™t want to write it. Ever since the Pixel launched in 2016, Iâ€™ve rooted for Googleâ€™s phone to succeed. No other company is in such a position to bring an iPhone-like level of hardware/software integration and an experience unsurpassed on any other Android phone.
Unfortunately Google never quite nailed it. The pieces were all thereâ€”flagship processor, fantastic camera, regular Android updatesâ€”but the design always left much to be desired, the features were gimmicky, and the battery was merely good-enough. On the Pixel 4, theÂ compromises became too much to bear.