Pixel 4 and 4 XL specs vs. Pixel 3, 3 XL and 3A: What's new and different

We compare Google's new Pixel phones with the ones from 2018 to see what's changed, spec by spec.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
2 min read

The Pixel 4 lineup

Angela Lang/CNET

At an Oct. 15 Made by Google event in New York, Google unveiled its new pair of smartphones : the Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. The phones feature face unlock and motion sensors, a 90Hz OLED display, and two back cameras. The Pixel 4 starts at $799, and the Pixel 4 XL starts at $899. Read our in-depth Pixel 4 review and Pixel 4 XL review.

Compared with last year's Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL each have two back cameras instead of one and a front-facing camera that also handles face unlock (here's how the Pixel 4's face unlock compared to the iPhone 11's Face ID when we tested both in four typical scenarios). In terms of camera features, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL both have a 12.2-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel wide lens. Both phones run on Android 10. 

Google's Pixel phones are not market leaders, falling behind Samsung , Huawei , and Apple  on the list of most popular smartphones by shipment, according to IDC. But CNET named the Pixel 3 the best Android phone of 2018, thanks to its impressive cameras and AI-powered call screening feature. 

While the Pixel 4 and 4 XL feature several upgrades over the 3 and 3 XL, the new phones do not improve upon some of the faults of their predecessors, including the lack of expandable memory and of a headphone jack (though the explosion of wireless earbuds may mean this is no longer a big concern for many people). The Pixel 4 also has a smaller battery than the Pixel 3 , though the 4 XL's battery is larger than that of the 3 XL. 

Ultimately, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL's greatest competition may come from the budget Pixel 3a, which starts at $399 and doubled Pixel sales earlier this year.

To see how else the phones compare with the Pixel 3, 3 XL and 3A, check out the chart below. 

Watch this: Pixel 4 and 4 XL hands-on: Dual rear cameras, radar face unlock

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL vs. Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3A

Pixel 4Pixel 4 XLPixel 3Pixel 3 XLPixel 3A
Display size, resolution 5.7-inch FHD+ 90Hz OLED6.3-inch QHD+ 90Hz OLED5.5-inch "flexible" OLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels6.3-inch "flexible" OLED; 2,960x1,440 pixels5.6-inch OLED; 2,220x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 444 ppi537 ppi443 ppi522 ppi441 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 2.7 x 5.7 x 0.3 in2.9 x 6.3 x 0.3 in5.7 x 2.7 x 0.3 in6.2 x 3 x 0.3 in6.0 x 2.8 x 0.3 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 68.8 x 147.1 x 8.2 mm75.1 x 160.4 x 8.2 mm145.6 x 68.2 x 7.9 mm158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm151.3 x 70.1 x 8.2 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 5.71oz; 162g6.81oz; 193g5.2oz; 148g6.5oz; 184g5.19oz; 147g
Mobile software Android 10Android 10Android 9 PieAndroid 9 PieAndroid 9 Pie
Camera 16-megapixel (telephoto), 12.2-megapixel (wide)16-megapixel (telephoto), 12.2-megapixel (wide)12.2-megapixel12.2-megapixel12.2-megapixel
Front-facing camera 8-megapixel with Motion Sense face unlock8-megapixel with Motion Sense face unlockDual 8-megapixelDual 8-megapixel8-megapixel
Video capture 4K4K4K4K4K
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz + 1.6GHz octa-core)Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.5GHz octa-core)2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
Storage 64GB, 128GB64GB, 128GB64GB, 128GB64GB, 128GB64GB
Expandable storage NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Battery 2,800 mAh3,700 mAh2,915 mAh3,430 mAh3,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor None (Face unlock)None (Face unlock)Back coverBack coverBack cover
Headphone jack NoNoNoNoYes
Special features Water resistant (IP68); Qi-certified wireless charging; 18 W fast chargingWater resistant (IP68); Qi-certified wireless charging; 18 W fast chargingIPX8; wireless charging support; Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the boxIP68; wireless charging support; Pixel Buds USB-C headphones in the boxAR in Google Maps; Timelapse video shooting
Price off-contract (USD) $799 (64GB), $899 (128GB)$899 (64GB), $999 (128GB)$499 (64GB); $599 (128GB)$599 (64GB); $699 (128GB)$399
Price (GBP) £669 (64GB), £769 (128GB)£829 (64GB), £929 (128GB)£739 (64GB); £839 (128GB)£869 (64GB); £969 (128GB)£399
Price (AUD) AU$1,049 (64GB), AU$1,199 (128GB)AU$1,279 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB)AU$1,199 (64GB); AU$1,349 (128GB)AU$1,349 (63GB); AU$1,499 (128GB)AU$649

Originally published Oct. 15, 9:15 a.m. PT.
Update, 11:09 a.m. PT: Added additional pricing information for Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.