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Photo: Google

One of the things I've always liked about the Pixel line is that, for an iPhone user, it's always the easiest of the major Android offerings to adapt to.That continues with the latest model, the Pixel 4. I've only had my review unit for a couple days, but as with past models, there's virtually no learning curve.

What's to like: For journalists, students and others that have to take meeting notes, the Pixel 4 has one heck of a selling point: The new recorder app is capable of automatically transcribing voice recordings.

  • Google has put a lot of focus on the camera as well, adding a zoom lens and further improving night photography, a strong point on last year's Pixels.
  • At $799, the Pixel 4 starts out cheaper than the flagship models from Samsung and Apple.

What's not:

  • As much as I like more compact phones, the smaller model is starting to feel a bit too small, especially given its comparatively large bezels.
  • The Face Unlock feature works when you are looking right at the device, but seems to struggle from other angles. Also, unlike the iPhone, it works when a user's eyes are closed, a potential security risk. (Google says it will add an option to prevent this in the coming months.)
  • A rather paltry battery means that heavy users probably won't get a full day of use.

The fine print: The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL go on sale Thursday, with the larger model starting at $899. Unlike with past launches, the Pixel 4 family will be available from all the major carriers.

The bottom line: One of the best Android phones just got better. At least at first blush, the Pixel 4 seems to be a solid choice for mainstream customers who want a powerful, easy-to-use Android phone.

Go deeper: Google debuts Pixel 4, other hardware

Go deeper

Chris Cuomo accuser: On-air "hypocrisy" spurred report

Journalist Chris Cuomo. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

A woman who accused fired CNN journalist Chris Cuomo of sexual misconduct said Sunday she decided to come forward after learning of his comments about women who made similar accusations about his brother. He denies her allegations.

Why it matters: Her attorney Debra Katz said in a statement that she heard "the hypocrisy" of his on-air words about his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and was "disgusted by his efforts to try to discredit these women," so "retained counsel to report his serious sexual misconduct against her to CNN."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.