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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

2 hours ago - Health

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 11 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.