Update, 10th January 2020: Google has responded after looking into the matter internally. The company confirms that the lack of charging and data via offending cables is intentional behavior with the Google Pixel 4. It is caused by cables that do not follow the official USB-C specification.
The only biometric unlock option that the Pixel 4 offers is face unlock. Sadly, the feature is not working as intended for some users. Compiling user complaints from Reddit, XDA Developers, and the Pixel support forums, Android Police reports that Pixel 4‘s face unlock is simply failing for a bunch of users. Re-enrolling faces or resetting the phones also fails to solve the problem.
Update, January 6, 2019 (2:30 PM ET): Today, the January security patch began rolling out to Pixel 2 through Pixel 4 devices. As well as the usual bug fixes and patches, this update includes a few other functional updates too.
Now, XDA-Developers has uncovered two more additions in the update, in the form of dual-frequency GPS and ever-improving Face Unlock. The former feature is available on several flagship phones these days, delivering more accurate location tracking.
Two things that happened the other day got me thinking about the strange situation Pixel users have found themselves in.
First, Samsung released a new Android 10 beta for the Galaxy S9 that includes the January 2020 security patch. It wouldn’t be the first time a company pushes out next month’s patch in advance, but it’s pretty striking nevertheless.
Update: December 19, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET: T-Mobile‘s latest Google Pixel 4 update introduces official eSIM (embedded SIM) support. eSIM has been available on Pixel devices since the Pixel 2 launched in 2017, yet it hasn’t quite taken off yet. Now, T-Mobile customers can take advantage of the technology on the Pixel 4, making it potentially easier than ever to switch between carriers.
I doubt I’m the first to tell you that smartphones are getting expensive. Shocking, I know. But it’s a fact we’re all coming to terms with, and companies are starting to see the difficulties of increased prices. That’s why I’m surprised Google has yet to create a Pixel upgrade program.
The Google Pixel 4 has turned out to be a bit of a contentious handset. While it has its share of cutting edge ideas, there’s already quite a list of things to dislike about the phone. Battery capacity tops the list of gripes and to make matters worse you can’t just reach for any charger around to top up. The Pixel 4 doesn’t seem to place nicely with certain USB cables, so you’d better pack accordingly.