Review: Google Pixel 5
Google Pixel 5: is it worth your purchase?
Google does not intend to compete with the most powerful and advanced phones on the market, but it does want to show the full potential of Android 11 in this terminal. Thus, the Pixel 5 is the most balanced to date, with wireless charging and water resistance.
- Compact, lightweight and handy design
- Exceptional camera features
- Wireless and reversible charging
- Mediocre sounding speaker
- Fast charging, somewhat slow
- Material in improvable finishes
Retail price (RRP)
Google Pixel 5 review
Google has expanded its family of Pixel mobiles with the arrival of the new Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G, both compatible with 5G connectivity and with the premise of correcting certain errors that were detected in its previous Pixel 4 model .
Roughly, we see how the new Pixel 5 leaves behind the experimental Motion Sense technology, changes its secondary telephoto camera for a more coherent ultra-wide-angle sensor, and doubles the capacity of its battery so that the phone has more autonomy.
Although this series of changes may seem somewhat obvious, the Pixel 5 represents a change of strategy for Google when it comes to the manufacture of smartphones, pointing towards a future in which usability prevails and not so much compete in performance.
Design and build quality
The most striking of the Pixel 5 in terms of design has to do with its compact size and its finishes. Although they may look like plastic materials, these make it light to weigh just 151 grams, well below average for its screen size.
It’s fair to say that there haven’t been any good small and compact phones in the Android family in recent years, with few exceptions. Most manufacturers have focused on offering ever larger screens with multimedia capabilities.
This has gone against what we all know as portability, lightness, ease of use and manageability to be used with one hand. The Pixel 5 with its 6-inch screen is consolidated within our list of the best compact phones.
Its frame is uniform on all sides of the screen to the point that they are the same thickness along the four edges of the screen, when as a general rule, the lower bezel has a thicker area.
It provides an overall balance that is supported by the slim thickness of just 8mm, with rounded sides at the rear that make it appear even thinner than it actually is.
Google has coated the internal parts of the Pixel 5 with recycled aluminum, while preserving the plastic material that makes it lighter and allows you to use wireless charging in an optimal way. Here in its central part the fingerprint detector is still present.
Here it should be noted that the unlock sensor seems to be more sensitive and faster than the Pixel 4’s facial unlock, as well as the fingerprint sensors that are usually integrated into the screen.
When choosing finishes, we have only two possible options, either in black or green, both slightly sprinkled. The power button has also been modified for a chrome one that helps power the Pixel 4a 5G with a white button.
Screen and sound
We have already mentioned that its panel is 6 inches, larger compared to last year’s Pixel 4, without becoming much wider in the hand since the aspect ratio is 19.5: 9 to offer a higher aspect ratio and thin.
It continues to be an OLED panel offering with nice, crisp tones that meets the HDR10 + specification, 90Hz refresh rate, and FullHD + resolution. This frequency is adaptive so it automatically uses the most appropriate one depending on the application.
The maximum brightness, in general, we verify that it could be higher and more intense, although you will have no problem viewing the contents in broad daylight and with the sun shining on the Pixel 5 screen.
You have the option to switch between different color profiles, playing with different shades and color temperature on the screen that at night will help you to considerably reduce visual fatigue.
Regarding audio, the Pixel 5 dispenses with a mini jack connector. We also do not have a 3.5 mm to USB C adapter in the box, so you will have to use a wireless model or some inherited from another phone that you have previously had.
Without a visible speaker, the Pixel 5 seems to leave the sound at the expense of a speaker located below the screen and effectively works well for hands-free calls, but not so much for listening to music.
Despite the promise of stereo sound, the overall sound profile lacks punch or clarity, especially when you’re trying to raise the volume of sound which instead of enhancing it causes fidelity to be lost.
Software and features
Android 11 is the latest version of Google’s operating system and as such, the new Pixel 5 serves to show it off at its best. Interaction is improved in certain environments, such as using Google Duo or Google Recorder, with a recorder function that allows you to edit the audio tracks before transcribing them.
Others like Hold For Me, the automatic call hold feature powered by Google Duplex, sounds promising although it is not available beyond the United States and it seems that it will not reach your Pixel phone, at least in this edition.
But it is really the small adjustments that elevate the experience of using the software on the Pixel 5. It is the case of being able to take screenshots or capture information to be used in other apps by simply sliding your finger up.
Google has managed to improve certain functions without neglecting the clean user experience that many of us miss when we have other Android terminals that are not Pixel models in our hands.
The Pixel phone offering has grown to strengthen the possibilities of computational photography on smartphones as the years go by, something that we can reaffirm that it continues to improve with each new generation.
The main sensor of the Pixel 5 is the 12.2 MP Sony IMX363, the same unit used by the Pixel 4 series and even the previous Pixel 3 series; It is an old component that remains in use only because of what Google engineers have accomplished on the software and image processing side.
This year, it is accompanied by a 16 MP ultra-wide-angle sensor, which has a 107-degree field of view; not as wide as its competitors (the iPhone 12’s ultra-wide sensor offers 120 degrees, for example) but it’s still a great way to expand the frame.
And it is that the biggest update is not so much the decision to change the telephoto lens of the Pixel 4 for this new wide angle, but the fact that Google has expanded the outstanding functions such as Night Mode to work on all the sensors of the Pixel 5 .
Virtual lighting has also been added in Portrait mode, a host of new options focused on video stabilization, and the ability to max out 4K 60fps recording versus 4K 30fps supported by the Pixel 4.
Even though Google has abandoned the use of the dedicated Pixel Neural Core chip, in tests we found that the Pixel 5 was able to capture and process photos in portrait mode as fast as last year’s Pixel 4, or even faster.
In terms of image quality, we have obtained a very similar result to last year’s Pixels. Crop and you’ll see some variations in sharpness, dynamic range, and colors, with Pixel 5 images sharper, dynamically wider, and a fraction cooler on all three.
In short, if we compare them with the results of the Pixel of last year, we see how the differences are minimal and it is a matter of preferences and tastes of each one, rather than an empirical improvement.
The video quality seems improved, thanks to the option of that higher speed in the handling of fps, as well as the particular stabilization applied to each mode of use. However, familiarize yourself with each modality to achieve the best results.
Standard stabilization is on by default, and from what it shows, it kicks in on the first shift, simply by trying to record a scene when you’re walking down the street.
You can disable image stabilization, although there is no real need. In addition, you would be disabling electronic image stabilization, while the one known as OIS or optical image stabilization, would remain on.
HDR processing has also been improved thanks to a set of features that have been added, in addition to the new editing suite that allows post-capture correction to be performed.
The other outstanding feature is virtual portrait lighting, which allows you to add a virtual light so that the details of the subject’s face have more information and definition.
Google has always tried to implement Qualcomm’s most powerful chip in its Pixel phones, in part because new model launches came just a month after the chipmaker announced its new processors.
With the arrival of the Snapdragon 855+ and 865+ all this has changed, so that the times have shortened. That is why Google has chosen to include in its new Pixel 5 the 700 series processor, the Snapdragon 765G 5G.
It is true that the Snapdragon 765G that powers the Pixel 5 is the best the 700 series has to offer, and it also has an advantage over the current 800 series when it comes to continuing to offer 5G connectivity while maintaining a more affordable price.
The 765G has a built-in 5G modem, while the 865 is still based on a separate unit. This means greater energy efficiency, but the 765G has also proven to be an excellent processor in its own right.
It’s the same chip found in top-notch phones like the Nokia 8.3 5G, the Vivo X50 Pro, or the newer OnePlus Nord or OnePlus 8T.
In real-world use, the Pixel 5 handles as you would expect on any other flagship phone and, coupled with Android 11 software and the 8GB of RAM (the most of any Pixel so far), makes for one of the cleanest and most responsive.
Truth be told, the numbers offered by our performance- focused benchmarks do not reflect the performance that the phone offers in the real world, with the added bonus that Android 11 phones are giving lower numbers than Android 10 still running. similar hardware.
As such, we have come to the conclusion that Android 11 trial apps require better optimization. The Pixel 5 offers excellent performance in the real world and is well suited for gaming, multitasking or photography.
The Pixel 4 was a promising Android phone, but in return, it offered one of the worst battery runtimes that we remember associated with its autonomy. It was a problem primarily caused by the tiny 2,800 mAh cell.
In this way, Google has found it easy to improve these figures by opting for a higher capacity battery that now reaches 4080 mAh, accompanied by a fast charge that stays at 18 W, but that also supports 12 W wireless charging. with reverse mode.
In benchmark battery tests, the Pixel 5 delivers promising numbers, lasting 12.5 hours under artificial conditions. Translated into the real world, the phone proves to be much more conservative, averaging 5 hours of screen-on time per charge.
Android 11 on the Pixel 5 also features the Extreme Battery Saver feature (coming to older Pixel devices in the future). If you have it activated, you can limit the use that certain applications make of the battery in order to guarantee greater autonomy in some way.
Google proudly promises up to 48 hours of use with this mode, but that’s something other phones are capable of doing during normal use, so it wouldn’t be a facet of the Pixel 5 that we’d praise.
Price and availability
The Google Pixel 5 goes on sale at a suggested price of $ 699. It is not available in Spain, which means that we can only look at the official price of other European markets. In Germany it costs € 613.15, while in France it is € 629.
The price is somewhat lower than the Pixel 4, which started at € 759 for the standard model and went up to € 899 for the Pixel 4 XL model . It should be remembered that this year there is no Pixel 5 XL version and it also only comes with a memory and storage option.
The Google Pixel 5 removes some of the more experimental features from the series to offer a more software-focused smartphone experience that can serve as an example for other brands of the qualities that Android offers as a platform.
The hardware is not competitive to the same degree as the Oppo, OnePlus or Realme offerings, but that does not prevent the Pixel 5 from being better in all its functions and not so much focusing on the hardware area.
This device is a reliable all-rounder, a great long-term buy, both in terms of software support, and based on the fact that the 5G infrastructure continues to improve,
In short, an excellent small and compact Android phone with enough quality in its cameras to receive our approval. Google has realized that it cannot compete in hardware features, but it can compete in offering the most balanced Android terminal on the market.
- 6-inch 19.5: 9 90 Hz Full HD + (2340 x 1080) OLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor
- 8 GB RAM
- 128GB storage (not expandable)
- Set of cameras:
- 12.2 MP main camera with OIS + EIS
- 16MP ultra-wide camera with 107 ° FoV
- 8 MP perforated front camera
- Stereo speakers
- Recycled aluminum body
- Corning Gorilla Glass 6
- IP68 certified
- Android 11 operating system
- 4,080 mAh battery
- 18W fast charge
- 12W wireless charging + reverse wireless charging
- 144.7 x 70.4 x 8mm dimensions
- 151 gram weight