Oct 16, 2020 Reviews
The Pixel 5 is probably an announcement from Google - and some sort of an acceptance that they can’t and haven’t been able to compete with the likes of Samsung, Apple, OnePlus and Huawei (not so much now) over the years of its Pixel phone lineup. The problem with releasing a 1000 dollar smartphone is that for customers - they need to be sold either a product that gives them status reassurance, or one that has the best specs in class - both of which the Pixel phones couldn’t excel in completely. With the Pixel 5 being their top tier smartphone - it costs 699 bucks, which still isn’t really cheap, but it isn’t flagship-category either.
Well, we all know how good the cameras are on the Pixel phones, and it’s the same deal here with the Pixel 5 as well. It’s astonishing to know that Google is still using that same old camera hardware for the main sensor as it did years ago with the first Pixel models. Knowing that piece of information, you’d consider the camera to be bad on this device right? Well, that’s where things get interesting.
Pixel phones use the computational power or - the better word would be magic - to take amazing looking photos in the end. The dynamic range is there, there’s top notch edge detection and all sorts of software processing features inside the camera app that you can do. Night sight is spectacular here just like every other Pixel device, and portrait mode photos will be amongst the best in-class as well.
The design and build of the phone is surprisingly great too, as it might look like a plasticky or cheap looking design - but Google has actually gone with a remodeled and perhaps recycled aluminium to make up the back of the phone, as it’s an aluminium unibody design - and considering the looks part is subjective, to us it looks unique and minimalist. The feel in hand is a whole different experience as well, as the phone is light and the texture from the aluminium makes holding this phone a joy.
Well, the first negative you could consider on this phone is not really a bad factor - but when you consider that this is still the supposed top-end phone from a company like Google, and still costs $699 - you realize that you should’ve gotten better. The Pixel 5 comes with a Snapdragon 765G - and even though that’s a great processor, but you just can’t help but notice the slightly longer times in image processing after taking a picture, or loading times of apps and games when you compare it to other flagships, or even phones in its price range.
The battery on the Pixel 5 is actually a significant upgrade when you think about it - a 4080mAh battery unit on a Pixel phone seems unheard of, and that’s fair because the new Google flagship lasts a decently long enough time period. However, the issue to think of is that Google is only offering 18W fast charging with the phone - which, yes, might not be such a big deal, but considering the price the company is charging for it, there should at least be more than 18W fast charging in the phone.
Perhaps the biggest downside to the phone is its pricing - and at $699, it goes against the likes of the Samsung S20 FE, the iPhone Mini 12, and now the OnePlus 8T - all of which are significantly better phones that offer way more for the user without cutting much corners whatsoever. Pixel is also going against its own 4a 5G - which costs 200 dollars less, and has just about the same specs except 2-3 features which are more or less unnecessary.
So, should you buy the new Pixel 5? We honestly don’t think so, because there are definitely better options out there in the market, as the newly released OnePlus 8T has everything the Pixel 5 offers, and a lot more, and is actually 50 pounds cheaper than the Pixel in the UK. If the Pixel 5 cost a 100 or so dollars less, then the features would’ve made sense - but with things standing as they are now, we think it’s a disappointing deal.