Google has already stopped selling the Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5 is a strategic shift for the tech giant. While the phone does not have the features and specs to compete with flagship phones, it has a more measured design at a lower price.

The Pixel 5 is a far superior phone to the Samsung Galaxy S21s around the world. It focuses on what Pixel phones excel at: providing users with a simple, great camera experience and an intuitive Android interface. We look forward to the Google Pixel 5a advancing, and we expect more information about that phone – as well as all the Android 12 updates – later in the year.

The phone is essentially simplified. It has an all-in-one design that wraps around the sides and curves at the back. It’s also made of metal so it won’t shatter. Google also reintroduced a physical fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone. This is much easier than using an in-screen scanner and makes it far more easy to locate. There is no bloatware and other operating system complications with Android 11’s purest version.

Simplifying can also be a sign of being lacking. Google has made some compromises in the design of the Pixel 5 to bring down the prices to the level that more affordable flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition or OnePlus 9.

While this is fine in most aspects, there are some compromises that prevent it from being a cheap slam-dunk. The Pixel 5’s processor won’t be able to keep up with new S20 FE and OnePlus handsets. Also, its two cameras lack serious zoom capabilities.

We will miss the uniqueness of the Google Pixel 4’s Soli depth sensors, which allowed for in-air gestures. Google decided to abandon tech rather than iterating on its technology, something that is rare for a phone manufacturer. LG did the exact same thing with its depth sensor, which was introduced on the LG V50.

We don’t miss Soli but we miss what it could have been as a unique Google experience. While some of the most cutting-edge tech was discarded, it isn’t a complete reversal: The Pixel 5 has wireless charging and a 90Hz refresh rate monitor. It also has 5G. However, its 4,000mAh battery lasts longer than the Pixel 4’s 2,800mAh battery.

The Pixel 5 is a mixed bag with some odd omissions from a solid phone. It was designed to be a compromise for those who are willing to sacrifice some of the flagship features for a more refined photo experience. However, it is something other phones like the Google Pixel 4a 5G have at a significantly lower price.

The Google Pixel 5 offers something other flagships lack: It feels small despite its 6-inch OLED screen. And it can be comfortably used with just one hand. The iPhone 12 mini is expected to arrive soon, and it will be up against some serious competition for the’mini flagship’ market.

Google Pixel 5 Price and Release Date

On October 15, the Google Pixel 5 was launched in the USA, UK and Australia.

Google Pixel 5 costs $699 / PS599 / AU$999. It only comes in one configuration with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. You can choose from Just Black or the greenish Sorta Sage.

The Pixel 4 was priced at $799 / Ps669 / AU$1,049, but this is a much cheaper option. However, there are some compromises.

Design

Google Pixel 5 is the first smartphone to feature a metal back. The industry moved to glass in order to improve signal transmission and wireless charging. This design is a rare find today and wraps around the sides to create an all-in-one device. We expect it to be much more durable to damage, regardless of whether it’s wear or serious drops.

Metal has a matte finish, which makes it feel more like polycarbonate than aluminum frames. Although it is not visually appealing, the texture was very solid and allowed us to grip the phone better.

This is crucial because the phone feels small. It has a 6-inch screen, but the all-in-1 metal body and minimal bezel make it feel smaller. At 8mm thick, it’s also the thinnest phone on the market.

The small format may not be perfect in every way. The volume rocker and lock button on the right side of your phone barely protrude from your body and are more resistant than you would expect. This makes them difficult to press. This is in contrast to the larger, more protruding buttons on the Pixel 4a and Google Pixel 4a (aswell as the 4a5G), which are much easier to use. This is a minor criticism, but it’s something we don’t often complain about.

How does wireless charging work if the frame’s metal? Google was clever and made a small hole in the back plate to place the charging coil. Then, he covered it with resin and painted it over. This is what Android Central’s Daniel Bader found.

How does wireless charging work if the frame’s metal? Google was clever and made a small hole in the back plate to place the charging coil. Then, he covered it with resin and painted it over. This is what Android Central’s Daniel Bader found.

The square camera block is located on the rear of the phone. It’s almost identical to that found on the Pixel 4. However, the flash has moved from top to bottom of the array. The fingerprint sensor is located in the middle of the back, in a circular divot. It’s not as precise as we would like and sometimes it took us several attempts to register our prints. However, it’s easy enough that you can find it without having to look.

The SIM tray is located on the left, but there’s no microSD slot to expand the storage. The bottom of the phone has a USB-C port and a speaker to the right. The Pixel 5’s speaker sound quality is not as good as the Pixel 4, and tends to be tinny.

Display

The 6-inch Full HD Plus (2340×1080) screen is sharp and bright. It has minimal bezels and a punch hole to house the front-facing cam. This means that the screen-to-body ratio is much better than that of the Pixel 4. However, that black bar was used to hold the various sensors.

It retains the same 90Hz refresh rate as the Pixel 4 and is smoother here. It drains battery faster to keep it on, but the result is well worth it when browsing the internet and your app library.

Camera

Google Pixel 5 has two rear cameras. You’d be mistaken to think they are the same as those on the Pixel 4. The new handset inherits the glass-covered camera block from the Pixel 4. The Pixel 5 has the same 12.2MP main camera, but it swaps its predecessor’s 2x optical Telephoto lens for a 16MP ultrawide lens.

The Pixel 5’s ultra-wide lens leaves it without any decent zoom capabilities. However, we like the ability to squeeze more people or more scenes into the frame. Although the 107-degree field isn’t as wide as the 120-plus-degree ultrawide lenses on other phones, the Pixel 5’s 2x optical zoom camera performed better than the Pixel 5. In comparison shots, however, the Pixel 4’s 2x optical zoom camera performed no better than the Pixel 5’s digital zoom. Another win for ultra-wide.

We took a variety of shots with the Pixel 5 during testing. When subjects were moving or close by us, it was difficult to focus. The best photos were taken in full sunlight. They looked sharp and had a beautiful color palette. Low-light photos had more noise than similar photos taken with flagship phones. This was somewhat surprising considering the Pixel series’ strong emphasis upon night photography.

Although the Pixel 5 does not capture exact colors in low lighting, it captures them accurately. This is in contrast to images captured on the iPhone 11 Pro Max which may show a yellow tint. The Pixel 5’s ultra-wide lens creates less distortion than images taken with other lenses.

The Pixel 5’s editing software is where it shines. Simply open an image, click on the three “levels” buttons and you’ll see a multitude of editing toggles. These have been rearranged to make them easier to use than the Pixel 4. You can even use new software tricks like Portrait Light to simulate a fill lighting effect to brighten faces or subjects at certain angles. This is useful if your goal is to highlight specific parts of the subject after you have taken a photo.

The Pixel 5 uses its software to create dynamic photos with great color and new ways to deal with photos after they are taken. However, it does not elevate low-light photos.

Performance and specifications

Google made some compromises in the Pixel 5’s specifications to save money. Although the Snapdragon 765G chipset may not be as high-end as the Snapdragon 865 that powers 2020’s top Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 and the Snapdragon 865 Plus in OnePlus 8T, it is still good enough.

The Pixel 5’s 8GB RAM and processor are paired together, and it performs well in all tasks, from browsing the internet to gaming and media playback. Although we didn’t experience any slowdown after playing Call of Duty: Mobile for a few hours, some animations did not work as expected.

The benchmarks tell a different story. With a Geekbench 5 score 1617, the Pixel 5’s specs perform worse that the comparable-priced Samsung Galaxy S20 fan edition (2928), which uses a Snapdragon 865 chipset. It’s not surprising, but this does show speed. We also know that the Google Pixel 5 performs worse than its less expensive counterpart, the Google Pixel 4a 5G, which scored an approximately similar 1614.

A number of affordable smartphones have been released with higher Geekbench 5 scores since the launch of Google Pixel 5. This is not a good sign for this phone.

The Pixel 5 has 128GB storage. This is the only configuration available. You can’t expand it via microSD, as you could with the previous Pixel 5. This is frustrating and means that you will need to choose a cloud solution if you require more storage.

The Pixel 5 runs Android 11. It comes with new features such as built-in screen recording and Conversations that gathers all messages from different apps into one place. There are also improved smart home controls.

Battery life

The Pixel 5’s greatest improvement over its predecessor is its 4,000mAh lithium battery. In our casual testing, it lasted for a day and a half, while the Pixel 4 (with its 2,800mAh battery) reached single digits in early evening.

The Pixel 4’s battery life was a big problem, and Google seems to have heard it. The Pixel 5 has an additional capacity and Extreme Battery Savings. This is an upgraded version of the battery saver standard. It can turn on Dark Mode, pausing background activity to turn off Wi Fi hot-spotting, and you can whitelist certain apps to ensure they continue to work normally.

The box comes with an 18W fast charging charger and Qi wireless charging. The phone can wirelessly reverse charge other devices. Although it was a bit difficult to charge small devices (like wireless headphones cases), it is easy enough to charge another device.

Do you need to buy the Google Pixel 5

It’s a good deal if…

  • You enjoy editing and shooting photos
  • Although the Pixel 5 does not have many rear cameras, its photo software is excellent, especially when it allows you to edit photos after they are taken.
  • You are looking for a smaller-format smartphone to be your flagship phone
  • The Pixel 5 can easily be used with one hand, unlike most flagship phones. It also doesn’t take up much space in your pockets or bags
  • You want an Android experience that is pure and simple
  • Google Pixel 5 runs Android 11. It was one of the first smartphones to do so. As usual, it isn’t bloated by unnecessary settings, apps, or other interface extras.

It’s not worth the risk if it…

  • The best phone is the one you want.
  • Although the Pixel 5 is fast, it’s slower than the fastest phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
  • The best smartphone cameras are essential
  • Although the Pixel 5 can take great photos, it doesn’t have an extensive set of lenses. For strong zoom photography, choose a phone that has telephoto lenses like the Samsung Galaxy S20.
  • You want the largest screen possible
  • Although the Pixel 5’s 6-inch screen is impressive, it is easily outweighed by larger phones such as the 6.55-inch OnePlus 8T and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition, which are similar in price. Or, at a higher cost, the 6.7-inch Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.

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