Google Pixel 5 – A Long Term User Review After 90 Days!
Just didn’t make any sense. I found it really difficult to recommend that last year, but here we are in 2021, with the pixel, 5. and google’s strategy with this phone is completely different from their previous generations. They’Ve cut a lot of features: they’ve illuminated the excel model and they’ve reduced the price to 700. Now i’ve been using the five for the past three months and it has been an interesting switch for my oneplus 8 pro and my pixel 4 xl there’s. Certainly some things to love about the smartphone, but there are some annoying factors like google’s questionable choice when it comes to hardware, and it also made me question whether or not, if it’s worth considering for the average consumer so here’s my experience with the pixel 5 after Three months, but first a quick message from our sponsor: well, look what we have here: the new fractal design, meshfi. 2! No crazy surprises here, just a well thought out and functional case with the new swivel front door to easily remove a dust filter behind the school panel. Three case fans are included with a fantastic top fan bracket for easy installation of anything outside the enclosure. Usbc adapters will appreciate the io and the usual awesome user experience you get with the fractal plus zero frustration with cable management, guaranteed the meshfight 2, a proper airflow enclosure for your next build check it out below alright. So the first thing that stood out to me with the pixel 5 right after i unboxed it was its form factor having used bigger phones in the past.
This was a breath of fresh air it’s, the right size for people with smaller hands and as someone who has big hands, i’ve also started to appreciate the size as it’s easier to manipulate with one hand. Also, this might sound really weird, but i really like the feeling of this phone being inside my pocket, especially when i’m wearing jeans, because it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb like when i’m using other phones like the 8 pro and the pixel 4 xl. It’S. Slim it’s compact, i just love it. The design is very understated on the pixel 5. google didn’t go all out with premium materials like glass back and metal railings, but instead the entire body is mostly made out of recycled aluminum and they’ve wrapped it with a bio resin finish, which is a fancier term. For plastic now, the reason why google did this is because they wanted to add support for wireless charging, which works really well through glass, but not through aluminum. So what they did is they carved out a portion on the back of the phone to add the charging coils and they wrapped the rest with the bioresin finish to maintain consistency. Now, how does that translate to durability? Well, over the past three months, i haven’t experienced any issues but that’s, because i’ve been using a case for the most part. But if you use your phone naked then do expect the exterior finish to wear off because it is made out of plastic and that texture that finish just won’t age.
Well with that being said, i love how low profile the camera bump is. It doesn’t stick out as badly as the note 20 ultra or even my oneplus 8 pro. So i think google did a really good job in that area. The display is edge to edge, and i appreciate the flat layout instead of curved edges. It makes handling the phone a million times better. The screen itself spans across six inches it’s 1080p amoled with a refresh rate of 90 hertz that’s adaptive, just like the pixel 4, so it’s not really an upgrade. That being said, it’s not a bad screen. In fact, i really enjoyed my time viewing content through instagram youtube, netflix and even editing photos using lightroom, it’s sharp for the size. I love the deeper blacks and peak brightness is pretty decent outdoors now i have enabled the force 90hz option through the developer settings and the animations are pretty much fast and fluid, so i can’t really complain with the responsiveness but having used 120 hertz phones in the Past i do have to mention that i don’t actually miss that feature because, in my opinion, 90 hertz is the perfect sweet spot for their responsiveness and great battery life, which i’ll get to later on all right. So now i want to shift gears and talk about the features that google has taken away from the pixel 5., so the first one being face unlock. If you recall, last year with the pixel 4, google implemented infrared sensors at the front for a more secure way of unlocking your device, and it worked really really well even in darker environments, and it was one of my favorite features of that phone.
Sadly, that’s gone due to design choices, but they brought back the fingerprint reader from the pixel 3 and i love the location at the back it’s ergonomic and, interestingly enough, if you swipe your finger down, it pulls the notification tray which is nice. Does the sensor work really well? Initially, it was pretty good, but over time i did notice that, if there’s any moisture built around that area it’s just not going to work even now when i try to unlock the phone it’s, just it can’t process it, which is really unfortunate and it’s, also annoying. When i’m trying to log into a banking app but other than that, you know once you wipe that off, then you know it’s it’s taken care of, but i guess that’s typically something that you have to expect with rear fingerprint sensors. But i do prefer that over in display readers for sure so that’s there’s that now let’s talk speakers coming from the pixel 4 xl. I was a bit disappointed, you’re still getting stereo speakers, but the top one is hidden underneath the display and that really affects the stereo image. I noticed when i compared it to my pixel 4 xl that the trebles were a bit muffled and that’s obvious, because the speakers underneath so there’s not a lot of clarity, and it just is a weird experience when you’re watching videos, especially in landscape mode. When you have your hand crossing one of those drivers as well, so it is definitely a step down compared to the pixel 4 and also call quality takes a bit of a hit as well, so that forced me into using my wireless earbuds.
So it is innovative. You know having speakers underneath the glass is pretty cool, but you know at what point do you actually sacrifice innovation over functionality? I guess that’s a question that needs to be answered. The haptic motor inside isn’t that great i’ve missed so many calls when i’ve had this. In my pocket also i’ve experienced poor cell reception with the five every morning when i exit my garage. This thing takes at least five to ten minutes to register, to network and in some instances i just can’t make a phone call, even when i’m outside, which is just so annoying and that’s. A big deal now keep in mind. I live in toronto and there are plenty of towers, i’ve tested, numerous smartphones in the city and have not experienced something like this before so yeah. I think this has to do with the aluminum body, or maybe i might have a dud sample it’s just that was one of the most annoying things about this phone. The squeeze to activate google assistant feature is also gone. I actually use that feature a lot on. My pixel 4 xl to control my smart home devices instead of saying this to activate that also, google did eliminate the pixel neural chip, which used to accelerate hdr processing with images and voice algorithms. Even the specs don’t make up for the price that this phone retails for it comes with a mid range. Snapdragon 765g soc eight gigabytes of ram 128 gigabytes of ufs 2.
1 storage, which is far behind the competition offering ufs 3.1, which helps a lot in terms of performance. Now, specs don’t convey the whole story. In fact, it all comes down to the user experience and over the course of these past three months, performance has been pretty good. Apps launched quickly. Memory management has also improved thanks to the additional 2 gigs of ram, but i did notice that the cpu did struggle to process images every now and then, when i try to capture them. Also multitasking was a bit of a hit or miss. Sometimes, when i’m on a phone call and then if i’m browsing something through instagram or youtube, it does tend to get a little jittery now i’m, not saying that it’s completely unusable it works, but for seven hundred dollars i would have preferred something a little bit faster On the contrary, there is a major benefit going with this chip. You see, google jam packed the pixel 5 with a 4 000 milliamp hour battery and when you pair that, with the power efficiency that the 765g offers you get a phone that’ll easily. Last you, for more than a day, this is probably one of my favorite things about the pixel 5 because for a phone, this size i’m getting close to six, maybe even seven hours of screen on time, which is just amazing and that’s. Something that i struggled to hit with the oneplus 8 pro, which is a phone that has similar battery size but it’s, a spec monster, and it barely was able to hit that sort of screen on time.
With my usage, of course, also keep in mind that i’ve enabled forced 90 hertz option through the developer settings, and i also use the phone in dark mode which certainly helps now. If you need to top of the battery, you can use the standard 18 watt fast charger, that’s included in the box, or you can wirelessly charge the phone and a cool addition. This time is the support for reverse wireless charging, which tops out at 5 watts. So that’s perfect to juice up your wireless earbuds or any low powered devices that support qi. Moving on to the software experience and honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about here. Guys google continues to deliver a clean stock. Android experience that a lot of users value, including myself, you’re, always first in line to receive software updates, they’ve added security measures that scans for spam calls and text messages. The built in audio recorder app gets a few updates like being able to find certain portions of your audio transcript they’ve, also added a few customization options like being able to change the style of the app icons. The font choice, the color scheme. Google’S now, playing feature is still here and what i really love about this is that you can go into your history and find the songs that have been playing in the background that you may have missed you see. These features are specifically geared towards pixel devices, it’s, not something that you’ll be able to find on a samsung or oneplus or lg device with the pixel 5 it’s all about getting android in its purest form.
Now have i experienced glitches with the software? Yes, the volume levels have frozen on me a couple of times, i’ve also experienced gboard it just doesn’t show up when i need it to, but google has addressed that to an update earlier this month, so at least that’s taken care of all right. Last but not least, cameras google didn’t go crazy by adding four different sensors, like every other flagship smartphones. Do they kept it pretty simple by going with just two one of them being a 16 megapixel ultra wide angle, which i’m sure a lot of people would appreciate. Considering that was one of the features that was lacking on the pixel 4 and then you have a standard, 12 megapixel sensor now, let’s start with the ultra wide. The results did turn out pretty good when you give it more light, it’s sharp enough, but i did notice that the dynamic range suffered a little bit. Also the colors were a bit muted. I would have preferred a little bit of boost in that area, but nonetheless this will do wonders with landscapes and if you need to tweak a few things here and there, this is a great start since you’re not stuck with a super saturated highly over sharp image. Low light performance with the sensor is pretty good, but i got mixed results depending on the lighting situation in moderately lit room setting, you will see noise in the shadows and, in some cases, you’ll also lose some detail as well.
I was honestly hoping for google’s software enhancements to iron out those issues, but perhaps the lack of the neural core chip is to blame here, switching over to the standard lens and honestly guys i’m starting to see a pattern here, especially coming from the pixel 4.. Now don’t get me wrong. The images turn out great there’s, excellent detail, good balance of contrast and saturation, and i loved shooting subjects on this device, but i’m pretty sure i can replicate these results on a pixel, 4 or heck even a pixel 3, because google is still using the same hardware. They haven’t changed anything which is really disappointing. You know it’s crazy how far they’ve pushed their software enhancements. There is a 2x digital zoom feature which yields pretty good results, but having tested phones featuring optical zoom with larger sensors, the pixel 5 does not even come close in terms of detail. Then there’s portrait mode well it’s portrait mode, guys, there’s, nothing special going on over. Here, edge detection works really well with most subjects, except for ones where the subject has a similar, color palette as the background, but i still love using this every now and then and i think it’s one area where the competition still has to catch up this healthy Camera is good. I like how the sensor treats skin tones and there are a few crop modes built in, but i prefer using the widest setting as it captures more stuff.
So this should be great for group selfies all right. So this is the front facing camera test on the uh pixel 5. uh. One thing that i wish that this camera had was an ultra wide angle lens because right now, i’m, just stretching out my hand and it’s pretty cropped into, but the dynamic range is also not the greatest i mean just from looking at phone uh. The skies are pretty much overexposed and there’s no sort of stabilization built into the front facing camera, but when you switch things over to the rear facing camera that’s, when things get really interesting, because google has actually implemented some really cool stabilization techniques that are software based And the results actually turn up pretty good. So, as you can see, you know i’m just walking casually and it looks like i’m. Actually, you know i have this phone on a gimbal or something so um that is really really interesting. Uh. The dynamic range is also pretty good too also. The microphone sounds. Nice i’m actually impressed with what google has done with the uh video quality on the pixel 5.. All right, so i think it’s time to wrap up my thoughts on the google pixel 5.. Now remember how i mentioned that google strategy for this phone is completely different compared to the pixel 4 and the pixel 3.. The reason why i said that is because google was trying really hard to compete with the premium flagship android market for the past few years, and i think they were not successful at that and when they realized that they came up with a phone that focused on Getting the essentials right, like you, know, a compact form factor which a lot of people love, including myself, great battery life, good quality, display software that’s up to date and clutter free and a phone that takes good photos.
The problem is it’s price. You know this is not a 700 phone. In fact, if you’re looking to spend that kind of money, there are better alternatives out there. In fact, if you’re looking for a pixel like experience and if that’s, ultimately what you care about – and you want all the other features that just come with the pixel phone, you know look no further than the pixel 4 a5g or heck the pixel 4a, which costs Half as much as the pixel, so on that note, thank you so much for watching. I hope you were able to take away something from this video but yeah. Let me know what you guys think about the pixel 5..