When Google jumped into the smartphone market as its maker, there were some doubts about the single-camera system on the first Pixel. However, Google has blown the public mind about what it can achieve with just one sensor and very sophisticated software. This trick, unfortunately, may be outdated by last year's Pixel 3, and so, in the end, Google added one, only one, to the Pixel 4 camera. It still managed to perform well based on DxOMark tests, but Google's formula can to begin showing her age and limitations.
This is not to say that the Pixel 4 camera is not so good. Still ranked in the top 10, but for the first time since launching the line, he failed to get top or second place. Exposure, color accuracy, detail retention, autofocus speed are all on top. Google's famous night-vision mode is still one of the best on the market, but Huawei's likes are catching up, especially under certain conditions, like without the LED flash.
What is different about the Pixel 4 this year is the addition of a 16MP telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom. this may actually sound a little low, especially for those with a 5x magnification like the Huawei P30 Pro, but it does the job with only a small loss of detail at remote magnifications. Ironically, the Pixel 4 actually wins the competition when you zoom in on something indoors.
Where the Pixel 4 does not reach, it lacks the hardware to perform well. Despite the camera's large square, the phone has no third wide-angle camera or depth sensor, let alone 3D in-flight (ToF). Google has traditionally proven that it can do bokeh simulations well even without additional hardware, but it no longer looks like this over time.
Pixel 4 also does very well in one-warning videos. The phone records moving images by default of 1080p, unlike other flagships that have switched to 4K. Perhaps more disappointingly, even though the sensor is capable, Google has decided not to support 4K 60 fps recording at all, blocking the phone to 30 fps at this high resolution.
Overall, the Pixel 4 seems to deliver an excellent photographic experience, but due to hardware and perhaps a little software, it fails to make this year's rating on the highest-end smartphone, at least on DxOMark. You can also read our very own Chris Davis about the Pixel 4 camera and how, hopefully, Google has a few tricks left to build the experience to a degree or more.