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Google Pixel 5 Smartphone Review

The Google Pixel 5 smartphone joins a line-up of affordable flagship smartphones that have some impressive technology but does the Google Pixel 5 live up to the Pixel family reputation?


|  Google Pixel 5 in Camera Phones
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Google Pixel 5
 

Quick Verdict

If you're looking for a smartphone that has a great camera, smart AI, a reasonable price and a compact body you can't go far wrong with the Google Pixel 5. However, we've said that about quite a few smartphones at this price point this year which isn't a bad thing but unlike some previous Google Pixel smartphones, there's nothing really ground-breaking about it and so it doesn't standout of what is now a very busy market. Plus, with some features missing that we see on other smartphones in this price bracket, such as a telephoto lens, the camera, which was once the big selling point of Google Pixel smartphones, isn't quite as impressive. However, it's a good smartphone available at a great price and we're happy to recommend it. 

+ Pros

  • Price
  • Compact size
  • Easy to use camera
  • Metal casing (no fingerprints)
  • Brilliant camera AI 

- Cons

  • No telephoto lens
  • No headphone jack
  • Not as ground-breaking as Pixel smartphones once were

 

The Google Pixel 5 smartphone is the latest offering from Google and with past Pixel releases, it has a lot to live up to! To try and tempt buyers, who now have a very busy mid-range and flagship smartphone market to chose from, The Google Pixel 5 has an ultra-wide and wide-angle camera, improved battery life (when compared with the Pixel 4), and 5G network support. The Google Pixel 5 is available now for a rather reasonable £599 which, when compared to other flagship smartphones, is practically pocket change! With this in mind, let's see if this more affordable Pixel smartphone stands up to the competition. 

 

Google Pixel 5 Features

Google Pixel 5
 

The Google Pixel 5 has an all-metal back/side design which houses a 6-inch display with cutout selfie camera, 2 cameras (ultra-wide and wide) on the rear, a 4080mAh battery, 8GB RAM/128GB storage and various AI camera features/modes which the Pixel range are well known for. Two colour options are available and on test is the Sorta Sage option. If you prefer something a little more understated, you can opt for 'Just Black'. 

 

Key Features

  • Full-screen 6-inch, 1080x2340 pixels, Gorilla Glass 6
  • Rear Camera: 12.2MP f/1.7, 27mm (wide) with dual pixel PDAF and OIS, 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide. 
  • Front Camera: 8MP. f/2.2 ultra-wide
  • Camera Features: Live HDR+, Night Sight, Portrait Mode, Portrait Blur and Super Res Zoom
  • Video: 4K @ 30/60fps, 1080p @ 30/60/120/240fps with gyro-EIS
  • Headphone Jack: No
  • Battery: 4080mAh (fast, wireless and reverse charging)
  • RAM/Memory: 8GB/128GB
  • Dimensions: 144.7mm x 70.4mm x 8mm
  • Weight: 151g
  • Other: USB-C, stereo speakers, 5G, rear fingerprint sensor, aluminium back and frame
  • IP68 water/dust resistance
  • Colour options: Just Black or Sorta Sage. 

 

Google Pixel 5 Handling

Google Pixel 5
 

When you first pick up the Google Pixel 5, what its constructed from is what'll grab your attention as unlike most smartphones currently available, it has a metal back and frame. Not only does this make it more robust, but it also means fingerprints aren't visible on the back which really gets annoying. It has a matte finish and a texture you don't expect metal to have but it does make the smartphone more grippy and doesn't have a tendency to slide off surfaces randomly either. 

Another thing you'll notice when you pick the Pixel 5 smartphone up is its overall size because despite having a 6-inch screen, it really does feel compact and fits well in the hand. This is partly down to its thickness as it only measures 8mm thick, bezels are small and There's no chin or topnotch as the selfie camera is cut out of the screen. If you want to, you can easily operate the smartphone in one hand but we'd always recommend getting a good grip with two when taking photos. 

The sage colour is eye-catching and we quite like it but for those who prefer something a little less colourful, the black version is just as nice. 

On the right side of the Pixel 5 are the power/volume buttons and on the bottom, you'll find a USB-C port and speakers. There's no headphone jack which some will find annoying and you can't expand the Pixel 5's storage space either as there's no micro SD slot. Turn the smartphone over and you find the square camera block, Google logo and a fingerprint sensor. Other flagships have an inscreen fingerprint sensor but we're not really fussed either way if one is in the screen or on the back as all methods work just fine. 

 

Google Pixel 5
 

The 6-inch Full HD Plus display is bright, shows accurate colours and just looks bigger than the screen on the Google Pixel 4 as the top black bar has been removed, giving you minimal bezels, no chin and a small cutout camera top left instead. 

Onto the cameras and if you ask any Google Pixel smartphone owners how the cameras perform, they'll tell you they take great photos. More on that in the Performance section of the review as we're more interested in the actual hardware at the moment. On the rear, you have a 12.2MP f/1.7, 27mm (wide) camera with dual pixel PDAF and OIS as well as a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. There's no telephoto lens which is a bit disappointing as most flagship smartphones offer this nowadays (even the Google Pixel 4 did) as it results in better quality photos when zoom is required. Instead, Google has stuck to using software by incorporating their Super Res Zoom. 

As you'd expect from Google, loads of AI features and camera modes are built-in which include Night Sight, Night Sight in Portrait Mode, Portrait Mode, Portrait Light (this brightens faces at various angles), Live HDR+, Panorama and Time Lapse. The Photo Editor has been improved, too, and you also have Cinematic Pan for smoother panning when shooting video which can be captured in the following formats: 4K@30/60fps and 1080p@30/60/120/240fps with gyro-EIS.On the front is an 8MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. 

The camera app interface looks pretty much as it always has on Pixel smartphones with options to the bottom and the shutter button in the middle. 

 

Battery life - The Google Pixel 5 now has a 4080mAh which is a massive improvement over the Pixel 4 with its 2800mAh battery. Fast and wireless charging is also supported. 

Geekbench 5 Scores -  The Google Pixel 5 scored 565 single-core and 1618 multi-core when tested with Geekbench. 

 


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