Google Smartphones Tech

Pixel 5 Review: The Supreme 5G Google Phone

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The Google Pixel 5 was announced during Google’s Launch Night In event on September 30, 2020. It is Google’s top-end phone of 2020, and it’s indeed a great option.

The Pixel 5 possesses a Snapdragon 765G processor, notably not the prestigious Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus, complete with Qualcomm’s integrated X52 modem for 5G support (an advantage of the slightly less powerful chipset). It’s a break from the regular Pixel strategy, which has sought to provide comparable flagship specs to other top Android devices from companies such as Samsung or OnePlus. Nevertheless, it also means that Google can offer a new phone at a lower price.

Google Pixel 5 Design

Image Source: Reviews.org

The Pixel 5 is quite similar to the Google-branded phone released last year or two. All of Mountain View’s modern handsets are notably simple and minimalist as regards design, having small hole-punch front-facing cameras and tiny bezels enclosing the display. On the back, there is a rear-mounted Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor and a square camera module packing dual optics.

Nevertheless, there are a couple of minute details to indicate Pixel 5’s design. Whereas the company’s cheaper devices use matte polycarbonate for their bodies, Pixel 5’s housing is manufactured from recycled aluminium. It’s also IP68 water-resistant.

The Just Black and Sorta Sage colourways have a slightly-speckled lustre to them, differentiating the Pixel 5 from other Google’s lesser phones. Currently, metal-bodied phones are very scarce to see, because metal commonly hinders wireless charging, making most manufacturers opt for glass or plastic instead. Hence, it’s an appealing feat that Google discovered a way to achieve wireless charging regardless of an aluminium shell successfully. It’s also IP68 water-resistant.

Another essential characteristic to note related to the Pixel 5’s design is its total absence of a top bezel. The Pixel 5 is deficient of both features, which is pretty disappointing given that the Pixel 4’s Face Unlock system was somewhat remarkable, and observably quicker during a test than Apple’s Face ID in the iPhone 11 series.

Google Pixel 5 Display

Image Source: Computer World

The changes on the display front of the Pixel 5 isn’t that much, with the phone’s 6-inch, full-HD OLED display providing little improvements over the panel found in Pixel 4.

The 90Hz refresh rate returns here again, which is a cool bonus and should provide a noticeable bump in smoothness and general usability without draining too much battery like 120Hz.

Google Pixel 5 Performance

Image Source: Tom’s Guide

The Pixel has a Snapdragon 765G chipset, that’s similar to the silicon that powers the OnePlus Nord and LG Velvet. It’s quite a powerful CPU, though it’s not as fast as the Snapdragon 865 inside modern Android flagships. Besides, it’s not even as powerful as the Snapdragon 855 present in the now-inactive Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL.

The Snapdragon 765G is also used in the Pixel 4a 5G., and it implies that the $200 extra Pixel 5 buyers pay isn’t going to result in any critical performance benefit, at least on paper. The Pixel 5 does possess 8GB of RAM to the Pixel 4a 5G’s 6GB, though that will probably only give a little lift to multitasking and opening apps from memory, supporting the pricier model.

However, the Snapdragon 765G is sufficient to support Google’s artificial intelligence-based features, such as Call Screen, and also a new one called Hold For Me. With this new feature, the Pixel 5 can wait on the line for you when you’re on hold, and inform you whenever someone becomes available on the other end. As always, Google is guaranteeing three years of software support with the Pixel 5.

Google Pixel 5 Battery Life

Undoubtedly, previous premium Pixel phones have struggled in the battery aspect, so the Pixel 5’s 4,000-mAh power pack (in addition to the more efficiency-tuned Snapdragon 765G silicon) will certainly be helpful in subduing those concerns. That’s an enormous increase of 1,200 mAh compared to the Pixel 4’s battery capacity.

The Pixel 5 uses a USB PD technology for wired charging at 18 watts, and also up to 10-watt wireless charging. It also supports reverse wireless charging, so you can top up other devices (like a pair of Pixel Buds) by just placing them on the back of your Pixel 5.

Google has included an Extreme Battery Saver feature to the Pixel 5 that prioritizes energy use for only those special apps you whitelist. According to Google, with Extreme Battery Saver mode on, the Pixel 5 can last up to 48 hours on a single charge.

Google Pixel 5 5G connectivity

Image Source: The Verge

The Pixel 5 is one of Google’s first 5G phones, together with the Pixel 4a 5G, letting it take advantage of faster data speeds. The network can be extended to other devices via its 5G hotspot feature.

The Pixel 5 supports millimetre-wave 5G and a sub-6GHz 5G. So, it’ll deliver somewhat faster speeds than LTE in most of the countries and greatly faster speeds in metro areas.

Google Pixel 5 Camera

Image Source: Android Authority

The Pixel 5 possesses a dual-lens camera system that is a new addition for Google’s handsets. The primary lens is a mainstay fin the Pixel brand, though it’s been available since the days of Pixel 2, and Google mostly depends on software improvements to continually enhance its output.

The secondary shooter is a new 16-MP ultrawide camera, which replaces the telephoto lens that was used in the previous version. Some people criticized Google for a telephoto lens with a very slight optical zoom advantage in Pixel 4, instead of an ultrawide lens that might’ve been more beneficial to owners.

Even with the absence of a telephoto, the Pixel 5 still gains from Google’s Super Res Zoom technology, which uses artificial intelligence to digitally zoom without losing detail. Super Res Zoom can yield some amazing results that are occasionally indistinguishable from what you’d obtain from optical zoom, so the absence of a dedicated optic for close-ups isn’t a complete loss.

Amazingly, the similar pairing of cameras can also be discovered in the Pixel 4a 5G, signifying there’s nothing naturally exclusive to the Pixel 5’s imaging stack this go around.

In the aspect of the software, Google has included Night Sight to Portrait Mode and added a new Portrait Light feature that allows you to adjust the light striking your face, even after taking the shot. Actually, through the Google Photos app, you can add Portrait Light effects to photos you may have taken years ago. Also, Google’s also providing three new video stabilization modes that should assist those that usually find their footage destroyed by shaky hands.

Google Pixel 5 Price and Availability 

The Pixel 5 costs only $699, and it’s currently available for pre-order from the Google Store and ships in October. The phone packs 128GB of storage, though a higher storage capacity version isn’t available, and the Pixel 5 doesn’t support microSD cards to further enlarge that capacity.

Google Pixel 5 vs Google Pixel 4

Image Source: Phone Arena

Design

Google Pixel 4 and Google Pixel 5 are quite similar from the back. They both possess a square camera block in the top-left corner and a Google logo near the bottom and are otherwise almost featureless single-colour slabs.

Nevertheless, there are two major differences. Firstly, Pixel 5 has a fingerprint scanner on the rear, while the Pixel 4 doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner. Secondly, the Pixel 4’s back is made of glass, while aluminium was used for the Pixel 5.

However, from the front they look quite a lot different, the Google Pixel 4 has a large bezel above the screen, which has its front-facing camera, while the Google Pixel 5 possesses a more modern punch-hole camera and minimal bezel. Notwithstanding, they are both water and dust resistant.

The Google Pixel 5 is quite shorter, wider, lighter and thinner than the Google Pixel 4.

Screen

The Pixel 5 has a bigger screen as compared to the Pixel 4. It has a 6-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED display, with 432 pixels per inch and a 90Hz refresh rate. On the other hand, Pixel 4 has a 5.7-inch one with a slightly lower resolution of 1080 x 2280 and 444 pixels per inch.

Image Source: T3.com

Camera

Google Pixel 5 and Pixel 4 both possess a dual-lens camera with a 12.2MP f/1.7 main snapper, however, the Pixel 4 has a 16MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom, while the Pixel 5 swaps it for a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one. They both have an 8MP camera on the front.

The fact that the Pixel 5 has a similar main camera isn’t really something bad, as the Google Pixel 4’s snapper is awesome since it performed well even in low light.

Battery life

One major upgrade in the Google Pixel 5 is its battery, it has a 4,080mAh cell, while the Pixel 4’s comes in at just 2,800mAh. Also, both phones support 18W fast charging and support wireless charging.

Specs and features

The Google Pixel 5 has a higher mid-range Snapdragon 765G chipset, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. While those specs are satisfactory, the processor isn’t equal to the likes of the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 865 Plus which is found in phones like the OnePlus 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Google Pixel 4 has Snapdragon 855 paired with just 6GB of RAM, together with either 64GB or 128GB of storage. Most importantly, Google Pixel 5 supports 5G, while Pixel 4 doesn’t.

Concerning software, both phones run Android 11, although the Pixel 5 runs it out of the box, while the Pixel 4 launched with Android 10 and will likely stop getting updates before the Pixel 5 does.

Image Source: Gadget Stock

As regards features, one of the key features on the Pixel 4 was MotionSense. This enables the phone to detect when you’re near it and automatically turn the screen on. It also lets you perform air gestures above the screen, so you can interact with your handset without you touching it. 

However, according to tech experts, this feature is a big battery drain and maybe that’s why Google discarded the feature for the Pixel 5.

Google Pixel 5 has a fingerprint scanner that is located on the back of the phone, and it’s something the Pixel 4 doesn’t have at all, rather it’s dependent on facial recognition.

Price and availability

The Google Pixel 5 costs $699 / £599 / AU$999. Currently, it’s not yet available to buy, but you can pre-order it now, and it’s landing on October 15.

The Google Pixel 4 has been on sale for a while, and starts at $799 / £669 / AU$1,049 for 64GB of storage, rising to $899 / £769 / AU$1,199 for 128GB.

Conclusion 

However, there are a few reasons the Google Pixel 5 may be a good purchase for people and organizations because the introduction of 5G promises faster speed, improved throughput, and reduced latency on supported 5G networks. Even if you don’t usually use a 5G network, the addition makes the phone somewhat future-proof when 5G is more pervading.

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