Google’s Pixel 5 was the last of its kind

From time to time, I’ll grab a random device out of the Verge reviews closet and pay per week or 2 with it.

It’s principally out of random curiosity and for the sake of scrutiny “old” product against the newest and greatest. last, i used to be drawn to Google’s component five. therefore I gave it a manufactory reset, updated the phone to golem twelve, and are victimization it as my daily driver for the past many days.

The Pixel 5 is smaller than both the Pixel 5A and 6A — with more premium hardware to boot.
The Pixel 5 is smaller than both the Pixel 5A and 6A — with more premium hardware to boot.

The expertise has been fantastic. I’ve got terribly massive hands — associate degree iPhone thirteen professional soap doesn’t look out of place in them — and that i like massive screens, therefore I don’t suppose I may absolutely change by reversal to the component five.

however it’s such an honest “small” phone (by 2022 standards) that I’ve definitely been tempted. The component five makes it straightforward to try and do something i would like one-handed. Its midrange processor performs higher than ever on golem twelve, and this phone still appearance distinctive next to the competition.

Above all else, I’ve return away unsuccessful that Google gave informed the component 5’s vogue and size once only one year. the tiniest phone within the company’s lineup is presently the component 5a, that contains a half dozen.3-inch show. To its credit, Google is shrinking things down slightly with the approaching 6A. however with the A-series models, you’re giving up niceties like the 90Hz show and wireless charging. In those ways in which, the component five may be the last of its kind in Google’s lineup. most for the even bezels, too.

The Pixel 5 is smaller than both the Pixel 5A and 6A — with more premium hardware to boot.
The Pixel 5 is smaller than both the Pixel 5A and 6A — with more premium hardware to boot.

I currently realize myself desire that Google would keep the five around as associate degree “iPhone SE”-style product that gets cited to hurry with hardware upgrades each couple years — while not losing what makes it sensible. Let’s cowl a number of the component 5’s strengths.

Design and materials: The component 5’s 6-inch OLED show is encircled by skinny, symmetrical bezels that go a protracted manner in creating the phone comfy and usable in one hand. and also the unsmooth “bio resin” coating on the 5’s body leads to a novel feel and calming grip once you’re holding it throughout the day. the degree rocker shares this texture, whereas the facility button is shiny metal — creating it straightforward to differentiate between the 2 by bit. as a result of its feel and palm-able size, the component five is one among those phones which will go caseless while not inflicting a lot of fear.


Before Google went bushed on the common “glass sandwich” style with the component half dozen and half dozen professional, previous models within the series typically used distinctive materials and textures that helped the phones stand out. With the Pixel two, it absolutely was the almost-coarse rear shell of the black model. The Pixel 4 had grippy aspect rails. however once the 5’s bio organic compound — I’m still a giant fan of the Sorta green colorway with this end — Google opted for a a lot of basic in-hand feel with last year’s flagships.
A better screen: The component 6’s OLED panel might sound utterly fine supported initial impressions. however all told honesty, it’s mediocre. There square measure lots of threads on Reddit protestant regarding uniformity problems, associate degree ugly inexperienced tint at lower brightness levels, and different imperfections. The component half dozen Pro’s beautiful LPTO panel exhibits none of those issues, therefore it’s clear that Google settled for fewer as a part of reaching the 6’s $599 value.

Even the component 5’s screen looks of a rather higher quality to American state than the half dozen that replaced it. They’re each 90Hz displays, however the 5’s white purpose, uniformity, and overall image square measure simply a touch nicer to my eyes. this may generally return right down to variance between individual units, however I hope to visualize higher from the component seven.

Pixel Imprint rear fingerprint sensor: I’m still defeated that phone manufacturers determined in unison to relocate the fingerprint reader from the rear of the phone, wherever your index typically naturally rests whereas holding it, to beneath the show. Google’s component Imprint scanners were maybe the quickest and most consistent within the entire golem scheme, and, well, let’s simply say the in-screen sensing element on the component half dozen and half dozen professional has ne’er matched it — even once Google improved the performance through software package updates.

Consistent camera performance: Google spent many years optimizing its procedure photography for the 12-megapixel main camera shared by the component five and its predecessors. And whereas it lacks the dynamic vary of the component half dozen / half dozen professional and doesn’t supply options like Real Tone or Magic implement, the component five may be a consistent shooter. you recognize what you’re reaching to get, that can’t continually be same of the component half dozen line. I don’t love the unpleasant-looking background blur you generally get from the 6’s larger sensing element, however this can be one thing Google can little question improve.
THE component five ISN’T excellent

Although I’m principally happy with the graceful performance and general responsiveness of the component five on golem twelve, there square measure still occasions wherever the midrange flower 765G processor hits a wall and gets slowed down. Snap a photograph, and also the frustrating delay whereas the phone processes the shot remains gift. The five can even get decorated up if you get too bold with multitasking.

While I’m sold-out on the component 5’s look and feel, Google’s hardware quality assurance isn’t continually the most effective. several units have a slight gap between the show and body. once the phone’s unleash, the company said the gap wasn’t something to stress about — however it’s precisely the form of minor detail that I realize annoying.

And then there’s that dreadful under-screen speaker, that still sounds tinny in most cases even once Google tried to boost it with an “adaptive sound” setting. Those symmetrical bezels didn’t return while not tradeoffs.

But even with those downsides factored in, there’s still one thing special regarding this phone. I’ve likened to purchasing one from Woot, that is selling new, sealed component 5s for $450. Apparently Google must’ve stumbled across some further inventory in a very warehouse somewhere. With Apple’s mini iPhone reported to be cut from the approaching iPhone fourteen lineup, it looks tiny phones square measure on the solution (again). that produces this a tempting moment to shop for. the sole asterisk to think about in Google’s case is that software package support for the component five can finish in Gregorian calendar month 2023.

But perhaps by then, Google can re-introduce alittle component that doesn’t skimp on hardware options and doesn’t therefore blandly take once its larger siblings.

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