The Google Pixel 4 is one of the best phones you can buy right now, but it’s not perfect. And while it already runs Android 10, we’re seeing more and more complaints about a variety of small but frustrating Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL problems. Here’s everything you need to know and how to fix those issues yourself.
Don’t go to the Verizon store for help or browse the forums for hours. Just follow our tips, tricks, and advice. Plus, we’ll regularly update this post with helpful info and fixes as they arrive.
This phone is a worthy replacement for the Pixel 2 or even the Pixel 3XL and a great alternative to the Galaxy S10. That said, even after some quick updates, we’re still seeing a slew of complaints online and all over Reddit. Everything from display problems, GPS and WiFi issues, speaker problems, memory issues, camera complaints and always-on display questions.
Remember, don’t let that list scare you. You might not face ANY of these problems, or maybe just one, it all varies. The Pixel 4 runs perfectly great for most users, plus we know it’ll get updates every month.
Before we begin, make sure you’re on the latest software from the company. As of right now, that’s the Pixel December Android 10 update. Keep in mind that you’ll also get an update on the first Monday of every month with the latest security patches and bug fixes.
How to Fix Pixel 4 Battery Life Problems
First things first, we want to mention battery life. It’s a never-ending cycle. Every new phone arrives with complaints about battery life. That said, we’re seeing a ton of reports about bad Pixel 4 battery life due to the bigger 90Hz display and Google only using a 2,800 or 3,700 mAh battery. Only this release, those complaints are warranted.
This year the Pixel 4 went from 5.5 to a bigger 5.7-inch screen (compared to the Pixel 3) and a higher refresh rate, yet Google put a SMALLER battery inside. It makes no sense, which is why every review knocks them for it and inevitably suggests buying the Pixel 4 XL instead. Even the bigger model isn’t great, but at least lasts all day. That said, start with our Pixel 4 battery saving tips post, then keep reading.
First, go to settings and make sure an app isn’t misbehaving and draining the battery. Head to Settings > Battery and see what’s at the top of the list. Typically Android system, Android OS, or the Display uses the most battery. If there is something else at the top (aside from a game you’re playing), something isn’t right. Uninstall it, disable the app, or tap on it and hit “Force Close” to kill an app that’s draining the battery.
We also recommend customizing location settings, turning the screen brightness down to around 40% or automatic, disabling 90Hz, and closing big apps you no longer need. Don’t forget to take advantage of Google’s Android 10 battery optimizations. Plus, the company will likely refine the performance and battery life within the next few months as more people buy and use the phone.
How to Fix Pixel 4 Face Unlock Problems
The fast and accurate fingerprint scanner on previous Pixel phones is gone, missing completely, and now the main unlock method is Google’s new Facial Unlock and recognition system. It’s extremely fast, and works well, almost too well. I find myself unlocking the phone by mistake, just by glancing at it. Google did an excellent job with this aspect.
However, we’re seeing a lot of reports that it isn’t working as expected. Whether users are getting failures or the fact that someone can grab your phone and unlock it by pointing it at your face, even if you’re asleep and your eyes are closed.
We’re not seeing too many complaints that it doesn’t work very well, in fact, we’re hearing it works too well. If you’re dealing with issues we recommend deleting your face and starting over with the recognition process. If you wear glasses or a hat daily, register your face with that hat or those glasses. Also, do this in a bright room with plenty of light for the best results.
How to Fix Pixel 4 WiFi Problems
Another thing we see with every phone release is complaints about WiFi, WiFi drops, or WiFi speed. We saw similar issues on the Pixel 2 and the Pixel 3, and they’re easy to fix usually. Try these steps:
- First, Toggle WiFi Off/On
- Try rebooting your phone
- Reset your home router
- Go to Settings > WiFi and forget your wireless network(s)
- Then, connect and re-enter the password for a fresh start.
It’s worth noting that the October update specifically mentions WiFi for the Pixel 2, Pixel 3, and Pixel 3a family, which probably didn’t make it into the Pixel 4 build. So, look for potential improvements with the November release. Are you having problems with WiFi calling? Let us know in the comment section below.
How to Fix Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL Bluetooth Problems
Bluetooth should be more stable than ever before on Android 10. That said, we are seeing a few complaints about it from people trying to use it in a car, truck, or with Android Auto.
The biggest complaint is Bluetooth in cars, where the phone simply won’t connect. Or if it does connect the phone is grayed out in the menu and you can’t select it. We’re also hearing talk of a small delay in the audio. If so, turn off HD calling in settings, as a few users claim that fixed the problem. Another idea is to simply reboot your device, or restart your car and stereo. Bluetooth is always a little tricky, so try to forget all pairings and start over and see if it goes away.
Basically, unpair everything and start over. Whether that’s your car, a speaker, or some headphones. We also recommend checking for updates to your car stereo, especially if you use something like a Pioneer. If you used Google’s system to transfer your old phone data to your new Pixel 4, it likely moved your Bluetooth connections for you. And while that’s helpful, it often causes issues. So, redo the pairing.
How to Fix Pixel 4 and 4XL Display Issues & Colors
This year the Pixel 4 XL has a beautiful Samsung OLED display with a 90 Hz refresh rate. That said, it’s not perfect. The smaller Pixel 4 doesn’t get very bright, colors are overly warm, and users are having some odd green tiny issues. Furthermore, the displays turns on all the time, even when owners don’t want it to. That’s a big problem we’ll help you fix.
Google just released the first big update for the Pixel 4, the November Android 10 release. It focuses on several things, including improving the Pixel 4 display, the 90 Hz issue, and more. Get that update first, then keep reading.
Then, head to Settings > Display > and dig in. We recommend you turn off the Adaptive Display mode, and disable Ambient EQ. Ambient EQ adjusts the display colors based on surrounding light levels, but it’s a little too aggressive. Then, if you’re getting bad battery life or eye strain, disable the 90 Hz “Smooth Display” option too.
Then, if you’re still having always-on display issues, the screen keeps turning on for almost no apparent reason, or it keeps waking up in your pocket, try these changes.
My Pixel 4 keeps turning on, all the time, even when I don’t want it to. I disabled most of the motion and sensing controls, as well as lift to wake, and now it only turns on when I hit the power button. I disabled almost everything shown above.
How to Fix Pixel 4 Camera Problems
As expected, the Pixel 4 has one of the best cameras on the market. It does some truly amazing things while you’re taking photos. That said, what’s the point of a great night camera if your phone is dead by sunset? That’s a direct shot at the poor battery life. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
If your Pixel 4 isn’t saving photos, which is a problem we heard a few people have, try this. Go to Settings > Search for Doze > and turn off any battery optimizations or Doze controls on the camera app. Disable anything messing with the actual camera application. Apparently, some of Google’s aggressive battery-saving features aren’t playing nice with the camera. This is a temporary fix.
Furthermore, we’re still hearing complaints about the camera crashing, struggling to take portrait photos, or force closing when people switch to the selfie cam. Then, we saw a few complaints about white balance issues. The November Pixel 4 update had some camera fixes too, so after the update let us know if your problems persist.
That all said, most of the reports about the camera are positive not to mention both the November and December update added fixes or even new features completely.
How to Fix Pixel 4 Charging Issues
Every smartphone gets hot while charging, especially using the fast rapid charging technology with USB Type-C. If your Pixel 4 is getting hot when it’s charging, don’t worry about it. If you’re actually experiencing charging problems, that’s something else completely.
Fast charging allows your Pixel to charge from 0-50% in about 20 minutes and gives the Pixel 4 enough juice for the rest of the night or a busy workday. It’s also what makes it get hot during the recharge process. This is nothing to worry about. We did see a few complaints about wireless charging on the Pixel stand. Which, by the way, should be faster on the Pixel 4 than any other Pixel device. Just make sure wireless charging and “fast” charging are both enabled in settings.
General Pixel 4 Problems & Bugs
Of course, these are just a few of the many potential issues someone could face. We did see a few other small complaints, but they weren’t widespread enough to mention. Then, don’t forget to scroll through this list of common and general Android 10 problems and fixes.
For any and all other problems, the first step is to quickly reboot your Pixel 4. Whether that’s screen glitches or rotation, app crashes, battery drain, overheating, lag, or other minor things, try rebooting your phone. Actually, you can fix almost all little problems by giving it a quick reboot. Simply long-press the power button, and hit “restart”.
Honestly, rebooting the phone at least once a week is probably the best thing you can do for performance, battery life, and general use. If the phone is completely unresponsive push and hold the power button and volume down for 10-15 seconds to force a reboot. This also solves most little issues.
Another “general Pixel problem” that continues to plague devices is a RAM or memory issue. Where apps aren’t staying in the background or keep getting closed. That’s why if you open too many apps after starting Spotify or YouTube Music, your music app eventually gets closed and turned off by the phone. It’s a frustrating issue Google can’t seem to fix. That said, the December Pixel update apparently had a whole bunch of RAM and memory management adjustments they’ve worked hard on. So, if that was a problem for you, hopefully it’s no longer an issue.
How to Factory Reset the Pixel 4
In closing, if you are experiencing major problems or can’t find a solution to something, try a factory data reset. We don’t recommend this unless it’s a last resort because it erases everything from your phone. However, it’s been shown to fix a variety of problems both big and small. Backup anything important, then follow our steps below. That said, if you can wait until the next monthly update, do that first.
Head to Settings by pulling down the notification bar and hitting the gear-shaped icon near the top. In settings scroll down to Backup & reset and then tap Factory Data Reset. The phone will reboot a few times, erase everything, and boot up fresh and ready to go. This will give you a completely fresh start, and often solves pesky problems.
What’s Next for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL?
So what’s next for you and your phone? Well, considering it already on Android 10, the next step for Google will be small bug-fixing updates and improving the overall Android experience. This was a big release with a ton of new features. Enjoy the latest Dark Mode, better privacy controls, gesture changes and stay tuned for more details. As expected, the December Pixel Android 10 update was a big one, and you can expect further refinements in January and February.
Read: Android 10: What’s New
As for what’s actually next for Pixel 4, aside from bug fixing monthly updates, it is Android 10.1 and eventually the Android R Beta in March of 2020. Yes, we’re already talking about Android R.
In the meantime, stay tuned for more information, incoming updates, and other helpful advice. As soon as new software arrives to fix any of these problems we’ll update this post. Before you go, keep your phone safe with one of our recommended best Pixel 4 cases.
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