August 16, 2022

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Google's Pixel 5 was the last of its kind

Google’s Pixel 5 was the last of its kind

From time to time, I will pick up a random device from edge Review the closet and spend a week or two with it. Often out of random curiosity and in order to compare “old” products with newer and better. Recently, I was drawn to my Google Pixel 5 so I factory reset it, updated the phone to Android 12, and have been using it as my daily driver for the past several days.

The experience was great. I have pretty big hands – the iPhone 13 Pro Max doesn’t feel out of place – and I prefer the big screens, so I don’t think I could fully switch to the Pixel 5. But this is a very good “small” phone (by 2022 standards) I was definitely tempted with it. The Pixel 5 makes it easy to do just about anything I need to with one hand. The mid-range processor is doing better than ever on Android 12, and this phone remains unique next to the competition.

Above all, I was disappointed that Google abandoned the style and size of the Pixel 5 after only a year. The smallest phone in the company’s lineup currently is the Pixel 5a, which has a 6.3-inch screen. It’s Google’s credit to shrink things down a bit with the upcoming 6A. But with A-series models, you Abandon compliments Such as the 90Hz screen and wireless charging. In these ways, the Pixel 5 may be the last of its kind in Google’s lineup. Lots for even edges, too.

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The Pixel 5 is smaller than both the Pixel 5A and 6A — with more premium hardware to play with.
Image: google

I now find myself wishing Google would keep the 5 as an “iPhone SE”-style product that gets updated quickly with hardware upgrades every two years – without losing what makes it so good. Let’s cover some of the Pixel 5’s strengths.

Design and Material: The Pixel 5’s 6-inch OLED display surrounded by thin symmetrical bezels goes a long way in making the phone comfortable and usable in one hand. The textured “bio-resin” coating on the 5s’ body results in a unique feel and reassuring grip when you hold it on all day. The volume button shares this texture, while the power button is shiny metal – making it easy to distinguish between the two by touch. With its ergonomic feel and size, the Pixel 5 is one of those phones that can go without a case without causing too much of a panic.

Before Google got into the joint “glass sandwich” design with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, previous models in the series often used premium textures and materials that help phones stand out. with the Pixel 2The back cover was semi-rough for the black model. The Pixel 4 It had side rails. But after the Bio-Resin 5 – I’m still a big fan of the Sorta Sage road green with this finish – Google opted for a more affordable basic feel with last year’s flagship.

The power button is normal instead of having a distinct color

The bio-resin finish makes the Pixel 5 feel uniquely in the hand.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales/The Verge

Better screen: The Pixel 6’s OLED panel may look perfectly fine based on first impressions. But in all honesty, it’s average. There are a lot of threads on Reddit complaining about uniformity issues, an ugly green tint at low brightness levels, and other flaws. The Pixel 6 Pro’s impressive LPTO panel doesn’t present any of these issues, so Google clearly settled for less as part of hitting the 6’s $599 price tag.

Even the Pixel 5’s screen looks a bit higher quality to me than the 6 it replaced. Both are 90Hz screens, but the 5 white point, uniformity, and overall picture are a little nicer to my eyes. This can sometimes come down to the contrast between individual units, but I hope to see better from the Pixel 7.

Pixel Imprint rear sensor: I’m still disappointed that phone makers decided in unison to move the fingerprint reader from the back of the phone, where the index finger would normally rest while holding it, to the bottom of the screen. Google’s Pixel Imprint scanners have probably been the fastest and most consistent in the entire Android ecosystem, well, let’s just say the in-display sensor on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro never quite matched it — even after Google improved performance with software updates.

Stable camera performance: Google has spent several years improving the computational photography of the 12MP main camera that the Pixel 5 and its predecessors share. And while it lacks the dynamic range of the Pixel 6/6 Pro and doesn’t offer features like Real Tone or Magic Eraser, the Pixel 5 is a consistent shooter. You know what you’re going to get, which can’t always be said about the Pixel 6 line. I don’t like the unpleasant background blur you sometimes get from a larger 6 sensor, but it’s something Google will undoubtedly improve on.

The Pixel 6A will soon be Google’s smallest phone.
Image: google

The Pixel 5 isn’t perfect

While I’m mostly satisfied with the Pixel 5’s overall smooth performance and responsiveness on Android 12, there are still occasions when the mid-range Snapdragon 765G processor hits a wall and gets stuck. Take a photo, and the frustrating delay while the phone is processing the photo will still be there. The 5 can also be suspended if you’re overly ambitious with multitasking.

While I’m sold on the look and feel of the Pixel 5, Google’s hardware quality guarantee isn’t always the best. Many units have A slight gap between the screen and the body. After the phone was launched, the company He said the gap doesn’t worry about anything – but it’s exactly the kind of little detail that I find annoying.

then there That horrific headphone under the screenwhich still seems minimal in most cases even after Google tried to improve it with a file Setting “Adaptive Audio”. These symmetrical edges didn’t come without trade-offs.

But even taking into account these downsides, there is still something special about this phone. I’m close to buying one from Woot, and it’s New and unlocked Pixel 5s sell for $450. Apparently Google has found additional inventory in a repository somewhere. With Apple’s iPhone mini being rumored to be cut from its upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, it looks like small phones are on their way out (again). This makes this an enticing moment to buy. The only asterisk to consider in the case of Google is that software support for the Pixel 5 will end in October 2023.

But perhaps by then Google will remake a small Pixel that doesn’t skimp on hardware features and doesn’t quietly take after its bigger siblings.