I hate big phones, but I really wish I went XL with the Pixel 4

Google Pixel 4
Google Pixel 4 (Image credit: Android Central)

It seems like everyone (well, almost everyone) hates the Pixel 4. That's OK and hating things you never planned to buy is the secret fuel that powers the tech side of the internet. I'm not one of those people and think the Pixel 4 was a great upgrade from the 3 in almost every way. It's just that one place where it wasn't that's killing me.

I'm talking, of course, about the battery life. I know, I know. You've heard it a million times and you want to click away or tell me to shut up we already know the small Pixel 4 has horrible battery life and that I'm just whining because I'm something or another. but I know when I bought it that it had "bad" battery life. I just didn't know it would be this bad.

I'm not on my phone all day long, which is good because with the Pixel 4, I couldn't be.

I'm not one who has their nose glued to their phone all day long. Normally, I primarily use a phone for messaging and email, maybe play a game or two and every great once in a while will watch a bit of YouTube. My small Pixel 4 will last all day almost every day. but it's those other days where I'm out taking photos or playing music that are a problem. It's making me wish I had opted for the XL, and I hate long skinny stupid XL things.

While you're reading this, I will be at the Northern Virginia Reptile Expo. I have been told I am not allowed to bring anything home with me, but I can and will be taking photos of all manner of scaly slithery things that I love. I'll also be carrying around a battery pack because I know my small Pixel 4 won't be able to do that and still have enough juice to play some music for the trip home.

My Pixel 3 could last a day of taking photos and playing music. I just know my Pixel 4 can't. I should throw it into the ocean.

Last year, my small Pixel 3 — which also was supposed to have poor battery life — had no problem doing this same feat. Yet, after a few weeks of using my orange power-hungry little box, I know it just won't be able to do it. And that makes me sad. I love a lot about this phone and think it's probably the best Android phone you can buy today if it could only last all day.

The worst thing is outside of caving, sending it back and getting the bigger, sillier version (sorry, I just have these Long Tall Sally monstrosities) I have no interest in another Android phone. I guess I could go back to my Pixel 3, but like everyone else, I want new things; especially new things that my employer paid for.

I'm hoping that Google can keep tweaking how apps run and stretch just another hour or two out of the little Pixel 4's battery. I'm not completely confident because the software is only a part of the problem and the battery is just too small. I guess I'll just have to buy a big battery pack like the Pokemon Go players use.


Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.