It’s fully 5G for Google this year as the company adds the latest connection technology to its smartphone line.
The Pixel may not stand out as much as any Apple or Samsung handset, but that hasn’t stopped the tech giant from doing its best every year.
So, does the Pixel 5 have a chance?
– Design and feel
The Pixel has followed a very similar look from the start, though it’s a textured aluminum body once again for wireless charging.
While it does give a device that adds a bit of grip, its smoothness doesn’t give off the same premium feel that the Pixel 4 does.
It’s worth noting that the fingerprint sensor has made a comeback instead of using face ID, which is actually a welcome step – it’s more convenient, works on more banking applications and is ideal during the life of the face covering.
The Pixel 5 is also surprisingly light at 151g, although there’s an improvement on the inside.
‘Just Black’ and ‘Sorta Sage’ are the only color options available, both of which are a little bit safe compared to some of Google’s previous attractive colors.
– Performance and software
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor is used in this handset, which is not the strongest on the market at the moment but most people will be interested in paying attention.
Running multiple apps simultaneously fails to slow down Pixel 5 noticeably.
As always, being a Google device means instant access to the latest version of Android – currently 11 – as well as the purest operation you can possibly see.
Unfortunately there are some minor but annoying software bugs that tarnish the experience, such as apps like an alarm that doesn’t respond when selected from the notification tray.
The Pixel consistently excels when it comes to photography capabilities but the improvements are slow which means others can keep up.
You can still expect fantastic shots from the main 12.2 megapixel camera – and the lens itself is much less physically obstructive than most of its competitors.
One welcome improvement is the fact that it is now ultra-wide, so more people can fit into the shot – although again, this is only catching up to handsets that already do this.
Many of Google’s improvements come in the software, with things like a new portrait light editing system that allows you to change the intensity of the lighting, which works really well.
On the front, Google has opted for a pin-hole camera on the left of the screen, giving it more screen space to enjoy.
Google has increased the battery capacity to 4080 mAh, which comfortably provides you with everyday life with regular use – although some competitors already have batteries much larger than this.
An extreme battery saver system was introduced in Pixel 5, a feature that lowers the power consumption of the phone to a minimum, and even downgrades its 5G capability to 4G.
With only 128GB available, this may not be enough for those who like to store photos, videos and music on their device.
Plus there’s no external SD card storage option to compensate for this.
Google still offers Pixel owners unlimited storage of every photo and video stored on its cloud services – although not in original quality, downgraded to high quality – but this isn’t always ideal for convenience if you don’t have a good data connection.
At £ 599, Google has managed to keep the price down for a 5G phone with premium features, but there are plenty of other, cheaper ones out there.
While the Pixel 5 packs some valuable features, it doesn’t feel quite as developed as its predecessors – apart from 5G, but remember network provider coverage is just beginning.
Others have overtaken the Pixel in areas like the camera and the Pixel 5 is not enough to keep that edge.
If you’re ready to miss out on some features like wireless charging, it’s probably best to go with the new Pixel 4 5G, which is £ 100 cheaper.