I usually like to start a review by focusing on the positives and then move on to things that can be improved in the device. Today, for a change, let’s take a look at the cons (only a handful) of the Google Pixel 5 so we can focus on the pros in depth. Starting with the lack of a headphone jack, the annoying part of the phone is that other phones are better supported for fast charging. Other than that, you’ll also notice that the phone is also without optical telephoto lens.
Given its very aggressive price tag, you’d expect the Google Pixel 5 to be a standard phone, however, it comes with all the latest features from Google and runs fine on Android 11. We’ll go into detail about the excellent ones. camera performance, but for now you should know that the battery is powerful enough to last a full day of use.
Prove that it’s worth it
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures, and that’s what Google has done to get our attention. The Pixel 5 breaks with the Pixel 4’s shortcomings and made sure that this time around you were more willing to shell out the dough. In comparison, flagships from Samsung and others look a lot more promising than the Pixel 5, but they just can’t match the price of the Google device – which is half of what a Galaxy S20 Ultra costs – $ 699.
I have to appreciate the fact that Google is preaching this time around, showing great reflection on its actions. For example, they equipped the device with a Snapdragon 765G on an 8xx series chipset. With this action, Google is betting on its “Android efficiency”, and the result is that you get 8 GB of RAM. Like the Pixel 4a 5G, the new device comes with 128GB of storage. The only catch is that the memory is not expandable, so you will have to rely on the cloud for more space. Promising a minimum of three years of operating system and security updates, Google Pixel 5 comes with Android 11 out of the box.
Design and beyond
Made of aluminum with a bio-resin coating, the phone feels a bit plastic in your hands. The good news is, it’s not that bad to touch. In terms of color choices, we have “Just Black and“ Sorta Sage, ”as the review unit in hand is the latter color, I’m naturally inclined to it. You tend to miss the feel of glass and metal, but that’s not a deal breaker.
If you have observed sage as a plant, you will notice that it is a little pale green in some lighting and a little stony gray in others. And that’s exactly what the review unit gives off in different lighting setups. Naturally, the color complements the chrome power button, but I’m curious how the other color feels and fits in my hands.
The design team placed the SIM tray on the left side, however, it’s good to know that the Pixel 5 also supports eSIM. It also features Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS), but note that if you turn on DSDS, you will lose 5G support. Unfortunately, the 3.5mm headphone jack is out and the only support system is the USB-C port. To make matters worse, Google is ditching the adapter and headphones out of the box. You will only find an 18W AC adapter and cable labeling.
Specifications and details
Unlike the Pixel 4’s Soli chipset, the Pixel 5 adopts a fingerprint reader in a slight dimple on the back of the phone. The fingerprint reader is sensitive enough to handle off-angle or partial taps and unlocks in a jiffy. Featuring a 6.0 inch OLED display, the phone has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and a density of 432ppi. The phone has a 90Hz refresh rate screen with better contrast ratio than older phones.
The Pixel 5 seamlessly switches between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on the tasks; the graphics appear smooth and the scrolling is tear-free. Focusing on the upper left corner of the touchscreen, you’ll notice the 8-megapixel front camera. The phone sports a regular 12.2-megapixel camera and a new 16-megapixel ultra-wide with a 107-degree field of view.
Reflections on the camera
As you can see in the album here, the photos taken by the Pixel 5 are well balanced, crisp and very natural in their ambiance. Supersaturation, artificial smoothing, obvious processing – the jarring stuff is missing, which is a good thing. Double pressing the power button can take you straight to the camera and make your trigger happy! Essentially, the camera app loads quickly and you don’t experience any sluggishness between consecutive captures.
Just pinch and zoom to switch between sensors, or drag the zoom bar that appears when you press and hold the 0.6x, 1x, and 2x mode icons. Interestingly, if you drag the icons up or down on these icons, you just switch between the three modes. “For smooth zooming, you have to press, wait a moment, and then drag. For the new ultra-wide camera, Google is rolling out a small tweak based on machine learning to make faces less stretched. “
To enhance your portraits, Google added Portrait Light, which mimics the effect of having a moving light source, and of course, the background becomes blurry. In short, if the image contains depth data, the Pixel 5 calculates how the light source you drag will naturally fall on facial features or glasses. This adjustment extends to any Portrait mode image saved to your Google Photos account.
Let’s talk about Night Sight support in Portrait mode. Google’s low light mode automatically activates in low light situations and you can also activate it manually. This feature was awesome for night scenes. However, now you can combine this with an adjustable background blur.
– The Cinematic Pan option is a subset of the image stabilization function.
– This essentially slows down the video to half the speed, then panning along the dominant axis. This helps to crop a bit as much as needed to smooth out any jerking.
– You are not capturing audio at the same time.
The Pixel 5 includes Android features like Hold for Me and an updated Recorder app. Hold for Me is for times when your call is put on hold; the Google Assistant listens on your behalf, and after a human answers the call, the Assistant prompts you to resume the call. Google’s updated Recorder app allows you to easily jump between sections of the transcript by choosing keywords.
Audio editing is made easy – crop out sections that by removing that part of the transcript – you can even edit the text, word by word. The recorder exports text clips as video, combining both audio and text, and they should be less than 60 seconds long.
The Pixel 5’s battery isn’t replaceable, but it’s now 4080mAh on average and it gets you through the day, without any recharging. In addition, there is support for Qi wireless charging and reverse wireless charging for accessories. When you plug the Pixel 5 into its wired charger, it uses the accessories and at the same time you can turn it on manually. The Pixel 5 also has 5G, which gives it a very high-end appeal for smartphones. The Pixel 5 includes both mmWave support and Sub-6 GHz capabilities, however, it ditches WiFi 6. It could have helped in these WFH times, but alas, it lacks.
Interestingly, the choices for us are getting faster, with Apple’s iPhone 12 mini in the same price range as the Pixel 5. The iPhone 12 mini supports 5G, has WiFi 6, and has UWB. Other iPhone specs that pal the Google Pixel 5 include computer photography and the same flagship processor as the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Pixel 5 verdict
The Pixel 5 puts Google in a good position with the inclusion of under-capitalized gadgets like Soli, and they make up for the flaws found in last year’s flagship phone. Google packs in compelling software like machine learning, computer photography, peak Android performance, and a mid-tier chipset. At $ 699, the Google Pixel 5 is a steal.