I usually like to start a review by focusing on the positives and then go over the things that can be improved on the device. Today, for a change, let’s look at the downsides (just a few) that the Google Pixel 5 has so we can focus on the pros in depth. Starting with the lack of a headphone jack, the most annoying part of the phone is that other phones come with better support for fast charging. Apart from this, you will also notice that the phone does not have an optical telephoto either.
Since it’s very aggressively priced, I’d expect the Google Pixel 5 to be a standard phone; however, it comes packed with all the latest Google features and runs smoothly on Android 11. We will go into detail about the excellent camera performance. , but for now you should know that the battery is powerful enough to last a full day of use.
Proving it’s worth it
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures and that is what Google has done to get our attention. The Pixel 5 breaks through the shortcomings of the Pixel 4 and has ensured that this time it will be more willing to shell out the money. In comparison, the flagships from Samsung and others look much more promising than the Pixel 5, yet they simply cannot match the price of Google’s device, which is half what a Galaxy S20 Ultra costs, $ 699.
I must appreciate the fact that Google is leading by example this time, showing great thought in their actions. For example, they have equipped the device with a Snapdragon 765G on an 8xx series chipset. With this action, Google bets on its ‘Android efficiencies’, and the result is that you get 8GB of RAM. Like the Pixel 4a 5G, the new device comes with 128GB of storage. The only problem is that the memory is not expandable, so you will have to depend on the cloud to have more space. Promising a minimum of three years of operating system and security updates, the 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 so bad to touch it. In terms of color options, we have “Just Black and” Sorta Sage “, as the review unit in hand is the latter color, I naturally lean towards it. I usually miss the feel of glass and metal, but sure not. it is a deciding factor.
If you have observed that sage is a plant, you will notice that it is a little pale green in some highlights and a little stony gray in others. And this is exactly what the review unit exudes in different lighting settings. Naturally, the color complements the chrome power button, but I’m curious how the other color feels and fits my hands.
The design team has placed the SIM tray on the left side, however it is good to know that the Pixel 5 also supports eSIM. It also integrates Dual SIM Dual Standby (DSDS), but keep in mind that if you activate DSDS, you will lose 5G compatibility. Unfortunately the 3.5mm headphone jack is not available and the only support system is the USB-C port. To make matters worse, Google ditches the adapter and headphones out of the box. You will only find an 18W power adapter and a labeled cable.
Specifications and details
Unlike the Soli chipset from the Pixel 4, the Pixel 5 adopts a fingerprint reader in a small dimple on the back of the phone. The fingerprint reader is sensitive enough to deal with partial or off-angle touches and unlocks in no time. With a 6.0-inch OLED screen, the phone has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and a density of 432ppi. The phone features a 90Hz refresh rate display with a contrast ratio that is better than that of older phones.
The Pixel 5 seamlessly alternates between 60Hz and 90Hz depending on the task; graphics look smooth and scrolling is free of irregularities. When focusing on the upper left corner of the touchscreen, you’ll notice the 8-megapixel front camera. The phone has a regular 12.2-megapixel camera and a new 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 107-degree field of view.
As you can see from the album here, the photos taken by the Pixel 5 are well balanced, sharp, and very natural in their environment. Oversaturation, artificial smoothing, obvious processing – the jarring is missing, which is good. Pressing the power button twice can take you to the camera directly and make your trigger happy! Essentially, the camera app loads quickly and you don’t experience sluggishness between consecutive captures.
Simply pinch the zoom to switch between sensors, or alternately drag the zoom bar that appears when you tap and hold the icons for 0.6x, 1x, and 2x modes. It’s interesting to note that if you drag the icons up or down on those icons, you just switch between the three modes. “For a smooth zoom, you have to press, wait a moment, and then drag. For the new ultra-wide camera, Google makes a small adjustment with machine learning technology so that the faces look less stretched. “
To enhance your portrait shots, Google has 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 has depth data, the Pixel 5 calculates how the light source it trails will naturally fall on facial features or glasses. This setting extends to any Portrait mode image backed up to your Google Photos account.
Let’s talk about Night Sight support in portrait mode. Google’s low light mode kicks in automatically in low light situations and you can also turn it on manually. This feature has been impressive for night scenes. However, you can now combine that 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 speed and then scrolls along the dominant axis. This helps to trim a bit as needed to smooth out the smoothies.
– Does not capture audio at the same time.
Pixel 5 includes Android features like Hold for Me and an updated recording app. Hold for Me is for those moments when your call is put on hold; Google Assistant listens on your behalf, and once a human answers the call, the Assistant notifies you to pick up the call again. Google’s updated Recorder app allows you to easily jump between sections of the transcript by choosing keywords.
Audio editing made easy: cut out the 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 audio and text and must be less than 60 seconds long.
The Pixel 5’s battery is not replaceable, but it now averages 4,080 mAh and lets you get through the whole day, without recharging. In addition, there is Qi wireless charging support and reverse wireless charging for accessories. When you connect the Pixel 5 to its wired charger, the accessories are powered and at the same time you can turn it on manually. Pixel 5 also features 5G, giving it a very high-end smartphone appeal. Pixel 5 includes mmWave support and Sub-6 GHz capabilities, however it ditches WiFi 6. It could have helped in these WFH times, but sadly lacking.
Interestingly, the options for us get more vaporous, with Apple’s iPhone 12 mini in the same price range as the Pixel 5. The iPhone 12 mini is 5G-capable, has WiFi 6, and UWB. Other iPhone specs that make the Google Pixel 5 pale include computational photography and the same flagship processor as the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Pixel 5 verdict
The Pixel 5 puts Google in good stead with the inclusion of no-cap devices like Soli, and they make up for the flaws found in last year’s flagship phone. Google packs in cool software like machine learning, computational photography, Android’s peak performance, and a mid-tier chipset. At $ 699, the Google Pixel 5 is a good bargain.