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

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Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.