It’s 5G all the way for Google this year as the company adds the latest connectivity technology to its line of smartphones.
Pixel may not be as prominent as any Apple or Samsung phone, but that does not stop the technology giant from throwing its best every year.
So does Pixel 5 have a chance?
– Design and feel
Pixel has followed a fairly similar look from the beginning, but it is a textured aluminum body once again for wireless charging.
While the device provided some grip, the smoothness does not give the same premium feel as the Pixel 4 did.
It is worth noting that the fingerprint sensor has returned instead of using face ID, which is actually a welcome feature – it is more convenient, works on more banking apps and is perfect under the face.
Pixel 5 is also very light at 151 g, despite upgrades on the inside.
‘Just Black’ and ‘Sorta Sage’ are the only available color options, both a bit safe compared to some of Google’s previous captivating colors.
– Performance and software
A Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor is used on this handset, which is not the strongest on the market right now but most will be noticed.
Running multiple apps at the same time can not slow down Pixel 5 noticeably.
As always, being a Google device means quick access to the latest version of Android – which is currently 11 – as well as the cleanest task you will see.
Unfortunately, there are some minor but annoying software bugs that damage the experience, such as apps like the alarm that does not respond when selected from the notification area.
Pixel has consistently excelled when it comes to photography features, but improvements have been slow, which means that others have been able to catch up.
You can still expect great images from the 12.2 megapixel main camera – and the lenses themselves are much less obstructive than most competitors.
A welcome improvement is the fact that it is now extremely wide, so more people can fit in a shot – but this only comes back with phones that already do.
Many of Google’s upgrades come at the software end, with things like a new portrait light editing system that lets you change the light intensity, which works really well.
On the front, Google has chosen a hole camera to the left of the screen, which gives more screen space to enjoy.
Google has increased the battery capacity to 4080 mAh, which conveniently gives you a day of life with regular use – although some competitors already have batteries much larger than this.
An extreme battery saving system has been introduced in Pixel 5, a feature that reduces the phone’s power consumption to a minimum, and even drops its 5G features down to 4G.
With only 128 GB available, it may not be enough for those who like to store photos, videos and music on their device.
In addition, there is no external SD card storage option to compensate for this.
Google still offers Pixel owners unlimited storage for all photos and videos held on their cloud service – but not in original quality, scaled down to high quality – but this is not always perfect for those without a good data connection.
At £ 599, Google has managed to push down the price of a 5G phone with premium features, but there are still many others that are cheaper out there.
While the Pixel 5 has some valuable features, it feels like it has not evolved enough from its predecessor – apart from 5G, but remember that coverage from network providers is just beginning.
Others have caught up with Pixel on several fronts such as the camera and Pixel 5 does not do enough to maintain that lead.
If you are prepared to lose some features like wireless charging, it may be best to go for the new Pixel 4 5G instead, which is £ 100 cheaper.