Category: Mobile

[Review] Hands on with the Pixel 4

I’ve been a proud card carrying member of Team Android for several years now. I’ve always wanted to try out a Google Pixel because of the amazing camera. I finally got my hands on a Pixel 4, and I’ve been using it as my daily phone for a month. Here’s what I think! Please note that while this phone was provided to me from Google, my thoughts and opinions remain my own.

What’s inside?

  • 128 GB of storage
  • 2800 mAh batterry
  • 6 GB of RAM
  • Snapdragon 855 processor
  • Dual cameras
  • 5.7″ inch screen
  • AMOLED QHD+ 90 Hz display
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Smooth Display (up to 90 Hz)
  • See the full specs here
  • $1,129 ($999 for 64 GB)

Look and feel

The new Pixel 4 comes in Just Black, Clearly White and Oh So Orange. I have the orange version, a matte tangerine colour with black matte edges. The phone itself feels good in the hand, and has a nice weight to it. At 5.7, the screen is a little on the smaller size.

New features

Motion Sense is a new feature and uses radar to sense motion. You can do a few actions while your hands are busy (exercising or eating) without touching your phone. You can using a swiping motion to skip music, or you can use it to snooze your alarm or silence your phone. I love using it to snooze my alarm.

Another less practical (but fun!) use is the Pixel only Pokemon Sidekick Wallpaper. Using the same Motion Sense technology, you can get a live background featuring Pikachu, Evee and a few other Pokemon. You can wave to them and pet them, all using hand motions. It’s very cute. At night they curl up and fall asleep!

Face Unlock

The Pixel 4 doesn’t have a fingerprint reader. Instead, it opts for a secure Face unlock using a custom Titan M5 security chip. The Face unlock is blazing fast, and can even be opened if your eyes are closed, or if you aren’t paying attention. I like this feature, but this could open up some security risks. Google is working on an option where you would have to be paying attention to unlock you phone. Face unlock date is encrypted end-to-end. Right now, uses are limited, but eventually you will be able to use this in place of a fingerprint reader for payments.


I love, love, love the new Recorder feature. It’s hands down my favourite feature, and the most useful as a writer. You can record live audio, and the app transcribes everything into searchable text. It’s quite accurate, very fast and is impressive. This is rolling out to other Android devices, and I’m so glad that it is!


The Pixel 4 is the first Pixel to feature a dual camera. On the front, you’ll find a 8 MP camera. On the rear, dual lenses include a 12MP 2x telephoto lens and a 16MP lens. I’ve been using the camera for all sorts of things, and overall I’m impressed!

Here are some examples of portrait mode:

Here are some photos using Night Sight.

Looks pretty good, right? I’m excited to take this phone on vacation. There’s an amazing Astrophotography mode that I haven’t had the chance to try yet. When used correctly, you can capture the stars. I want to use that next time I go camping.

Battery life

The Pixel 4 has a 2800 mAh battery, and charges up using a USB C. The battery life is average. I can usually get through a full day from 8am to 10pm off one charge. It has died on me a couple of times in the evening on heavy use. The phone has fast charging which is helpful for topping up.


The Pixel 4 has a custom Google case ($50), available in 4 shades. It has a unique soft knit weaved fabric texture that’s lined inside with microfibre. In the case, you can squeeze the phone to activate Active Edge and turn on Google Assistant. You can also wash the case if it’s dirty, and it fits with Pixel 4 like a glove.


  • Pure Android without any bloatware
  • Excellent camera
  • Guaranteed Google software updates for 3 years


  • No headphone jack.
  • Doesn’t have expandable memory
  • No fingerprint reader

Overall, this is a solid phone with a fantastic camera, good software and some unique features. I think it’ll only get better with the updates that Google will be pushing quarterly. I’m excited to see what’s in store!

[Fun Facts] Instagram & Millennials

At FFWD Advertising and Marketing Week, hosted by the ICA, I attended some interesting lectures. My favourite talk was from Facebook Canada, owners of Instagram. They shared some cool stats about Instagram that I’d love to share with you!

Instagram is my favourite social media platform. It’s so visual and beautiful. I love to use it to find new things to eat and places to go. And I’m not alone!

Millennials are the top users of Instagram (that’s me!), making up 70% of all users. On average, we use Instagram for 21 minutes per day. Instagram is great for capturing and sharing world moments. There are 80 million photos shared per day, and 3.5 billion likes per day. Women tailor content around human elements, while men share travel and city pride.

So why do millennials use Instagram?

74% take actions based on posts.
46% say Instagram brings out creativity
48% follow brands on Instagram
39% use Instagram so they don’t miss out. (FOMO is real!)
45% follow brands that inspire them.

36% of Canadian posts use hashtags.

#smile #positivity #iloveyou are the most popular.
Trending: #strideby #fromwhereistand #emojisinthewild #theworldneedsmorespiralstaircases #makeportraits

So what should you do to create better content and attract new followers? Think of how to inspire, think how it will look visually.

Charge faster on the go with TYLT’s new RIBBN Car Charger

It may come as no surprise to anyone that knows me that I am obsessed with my cell phone and with keeping it charged! That’s why I love using the TYLT band charger while on the go in the car. It lets two phones charge at once so no one has to fight over the car input. Here’s my review of the original charger.

This year they’ve come out with a new, faster and improved charger, the RIBBN. To test it out, I took it on a bunch of road trips with some friends. I didn’t tell them I was reviewing it, but I just had it plugged into the car for them to use. (more…)

[Review] Motorola Moto X 2014


My first phone was a Motorola. I still remember that Motorola C333.  We’ve come a long way since then, but my love for Motorola hasn’t wavered. If anything….with the addition of Android, it’s grown! I was very happy to get my hands on a Moto X 2014 to take with me on my trip to Japan earlier this month. I’m already a happy owner of a Moto X first generation.

One of the things that I loved about the Motorola X in the USA was that you could customize the back with wood, leather, or whatever colour you wanted. I was a little disappointed that in Canada, the first gen Moto X only came in black and white. When I was sent a Moto X with a bamboo back, I was thrilled! (Get one here!) (more…)

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