The Pixel 4 and 4 XL entered this world with a bang. This series, Google hinted, would be the Pixel's first real attempt to compete with the iPhone and with Samsung's Galaxy S line. To combat renders of the Pixel 4 that were just beginning to leak, Google decided to disseminate a tweet with a real legitimate photo of the Pixel 4approximately four months before the phone was to be unveiled.
Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL overpromised and underdelivered
A month later, Google released more information about its facial recognition feature called Face Unlock which would use the same tools found in the iPhone's True Depth Camera to create secure 3D depth maps of users' faces. Like the iPhone, the Face Unlock feature was the only biometric feature on the phone. In other words, there was no fingerprint sensor. Also available on the phone was the Soli radar chip-powered Motion Sense.
With Motion Sense, users would be able to silence incoming calls, dismiss alarms and timers, and skip tracks on streaming apps by waving their hand over the display. Unlike Face ID on the iPhone, the Pixel 4 series used the Soli chips to see when you started to reach for the phone and turn on Face Unlock allowing the phone to unlock in one smooth, seamless motion.
But, Motion Sense was underwhelming and Google sold only 2 million Pixel 4 series units during the first six months on the market, down 43% from the 3.5 million Pixel 3 units that were sold during its first two-quarters of availability. And now comes the cruelest blow of all to Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL owners (even crueler than the small 2800mAh and 3700mAh batteries on the handsets respectively); with yesterday's October update, the devices no longer have Google support.
Google took a breath and a step backward with the Pixel 5 which was not flagship material. It rebounded with the Pixel 6 series. Despite complaints about the under-display fingerprint sensor and the battery, Google did what it always does and sent out software updates to exterminate the bugs. Google might have been able to get its shit together in time to raise interest in the Pixel 7 series.
Earlier this year, just before the Google I/O developer conference kicked off in May, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that the Pixel 6 line was the fastest-selling Pixel series ever and he later said that it had sold more units than the Pixel 4 series and the Pixel 5 combined.
These are the Pixel models that will get Android 14
Returning to the Pixel 4 series, the two models each were scheduled to receive three system updates. Did they? Well, the phones were launched with Android 10 and received 11, 12, and 13 before walking off into the sunset. The series was scheduled to receive three years of security updates which ended with yesterday's release.
In case you were wondering, the Pixel 6 series (including the Pixel 6a) will also receive three years of system updates but will feature five years of security updates. That means that the latest Pixel line will receive Android 13, 14, and 15 but will continue to receive support until October 2026.
While Google has in recent times given one last huge update for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, this appears to be all she wrote for the Pixel 4 line. So with that in mind, the Pixel phones that will qualify for the Android 14 Beta coming in February will include:
Pixel 4a (5G).
Pixel 6 Pro.
Pixel 7 (not yet official).
Pixel 7 Pro (not yet official).
There is a slim possibility that Google will hike the number of system updates for the Pixel 7 line to four since Samsung is giving its Galaxy S22 series four system updates. And if you didn't know it by now, Google is the company behind the development of Android, not Samsung. So to see whether Google will match Samsung, we will listen closely to what Google says about this matter during the Made by Google event being held this Thursday at 10 am EDT (7 am PDT).
You can watch the event at GoogleStore.com/event.