Thanks to YouTuber JerryRigEverything aka Zack, we know how (less) durable our modern-day smartphones and gadgets are. He has tested hundreds of devices so far and the latest one to face the music is the Pixel 4 XL.
In a series of tests, Google's latest flagship offering was put to a scratch, burn and bend test. Here's how the $1,000 phone performed. (Hint: Miserably)
Google Pixel 4 XL: Scratch test
On Moh's scale of hardness, materials like plastic scratch at level 3 while sapphire shows damage at level 8-9.
However, the Pixel 4 XL, which is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5, got visible scratches at level 6 and deeper grooves at level 7.
The rear glass panel also showed similar resistance but the aluminum frame got scuffed with a razor blade.
Google Pixel 4 XL: Burn test
The Pixel 4 XL offers a 6.3-inch HDR-compatible QHD+ OLED screen with a 90Hz dynamic refresh rate. When subjected to a lighter flame for about 40 seconds, the phone's display showed no damage and the white burn marks faded away in just a few seconds.
Google Pixel 4 XL: Bend test
While the Google flagship did fine in the scratch and burn tests, it failed miserably in the bend test.
Bending the phone from the back was fine, with the screen keeping the phone structurally solid.
However, when pressure was applied from the front, the aluminum frame cracked at two places on the top side and later, it snapped on the bottom side as well.
Zack believes placement of antennae lines is the weak link
According to Zack, the problem with the Pixel 4 XL is the placement of antennae lines.
Of course, all modern-day phones have antennae lines built into the frames, but in the case of Google's phone, the points where these plastic bands pass have not been fortified.
Verdict: Don't buy this phone. In any case, if you are in India, you can't.
But, why didn't Google launch it in India?
The reason behind Pixel 4's non-availability is the hardware it packs.
The phone comes with a Soli radar chip that powers its face unlock and air gestures, enabling users to change tracks, silence calls with hand waves.
Now, Soli operates in the 57 to 64GHz (V band) frequency range, which has been approved by US' FCC but not by India.