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Google Pixel 5 | My thoughts 5 plus months in


I’ve been using the Pixel 5 for more than 5 months as my only daily driver and I have some thoughts. To date, I can say that the Pixel 5 is my favorite Made by Google smartphone. Google got the basics right with this phone while adding in the AI and ML features. So while the phone may seem boring and understated I would clearly be on the opposite end of that opinion with a different perspective. 


For example, the Pixel 5 has a near-all screen display with a punch-hole display in the upper left of the display. The Pixel 5 features a decently sounding under-display speaker where the earpiece is. This serves as an earpiece for calls to your ear and a speaker for stereo sound. All this seems cool already but Google didn't stop there but also put an Ambient Light Sensor under the display as well. See you can look at the phone and dismiss it however you can choose to loot at the other end and appreciate some of the unique things Google brings to the table. 


I’ll touch on some things I find important in a smartphone and discuss how the Pixel 5 measures up, so to speak.


Display - nothing special. A nice 1080p display that gets plenty bright for my taste. Colors are nice and vibrant while retaining accuracy which is something that I prefer. 


Speakers - are just okay. The phone can seem kind of hollow but this has been mostly remedied after the December Pixel Feature Drop that added Adaptive Sound. Adaptive Sound improves speak quality by adjusting the audio to the environment. This feature works well and helps the Pixel 5 stereo sound rich with more detail, especially with music.


Processor - the Pixel 5 uses what many consider to be a mid-range chip. I for one believe it works well enough while providing a solid amount of power. There’s nothing exciting here and I look forward to the day when Google makes their own chip in the near future. Near future like this year, hopefully.


Battery - the battery on this phone is excellent. I get about a day and a half with heavy use. What used to be a problem with previous Pixels seems to be resolved with the Pixel 5. Google listened and made great strides last year.


Charging - the Pixel 5 features an aluminum body with what I describe as a plastic material that enables wireless charging. Something else we should appreciate as a unique feature. There is also reverse charging as well.


Cameras - sensors are the same from the last few years and that's not a bad thing at all. Google knows these sensors so they are able to tap into their deepest capabilities. With the Pixel 5 Google introduced new software techniques that take full advantage of the sensor and it shows in my opinion. Photos are better but not dramatically better. To me, the video is the true star here. Video took a much-needed leap with the Pixel 5 easily outclassing all prior Pixel models.


Again, I can honestly say this is my favorite Pixel to date. It gets the basics right while providing all those Google-y AI and  ML features I have grown to appreciate over the years. By dialing things back Google to a step forward by delivering on what most consumers expect today. A good price, modern design, decent specs, great cameras, and a solid user experience. 


Specs


Display

Full-screen 6.0-inch (151 mm) display with transmissive hole


Dimensions and Weight2

5.7 height x 2.8 width x 0.3 depth (inches)


Battery

Minimum 4000 mAh


Memory and Storage

8 GB LPDDR4x RAM


Processors

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 765G 2.4 GHz + 2.2 GHz + 1.8 GHz, 64-bit Octa-Core Adreno 620


Rear camera

12.2 MP dual-pixel • 1.4 μm pixel width • Autofocus with dual pixel phase detection • Optical + electronic image stabilization


Front camera

8 MP • 1.12 μm pixel width • ƒ/2.0 aperture • Fixed focus


Video

1080p @ 30 FPS, 60 FPS, 120 FPS • 720p @ 240 FPS • 4K @ 30 FPS, 60 FPS


Sensors

Proximity / Ambient light sensor • Accelerometer / Gyrometer • Magnetometer • Pixel Imprint™ – back-mounted fingerprint sensor for fast unlocking


Charging

USB-C® 18W adapter with USB-PD 2.0 • 18W fast charging5 • Qi-certified wireless charging6


Buttons and Ports

USB Type-C® 3.1 Gen 1 • Power button • Volume controls


SIMs

Single Nano SIM • eSIM


Media & Audio

Stereo speakers • 3 microphones • Noise suppression


Wireless and Location

Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz + 5 GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2x2 MIMO


Network8

Up to 4CC (12 layers) DL & 2CC UL9


Colors

Just Black • Sorta Sage


Hearing Aid Compatibility

M4/T3 HAC Rating • Google's devices meet the hearing aid compatibility (HAC) requirements set by the FCC. See g.co/pixel/hac


Security and OS Updates

The latest Android 11 • Minimum 3 years of OS and security updates11


Materials

100% recycled aluminum enclosure12


AR / VR

AR Core


Warranty

1 year



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