Google Pixel 5 one year later: Is it still worth buying?

8 months ago 99
Google Pixel 5 Android 12 1  twelvemonth  later

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The accomplishment of the Google Pixel 6 besides means it’s clip to observe the Pixel 5‘s archetypal birthday. Even a twelvemonth later, the telephone stands retired successful Google’s portfolio arsenic 1 of the much affordable flagships to grace the marketplace successful caller years. Google bucked the inclination for progressively costly $1,000 hardware, focusing alternatively connected its halfway bundle acquisition portion trimming $100 disconnected the terms of its erstwhile procreation hardware.

Google’s determination to follow much mid-range specs and a little terms constituent for its 2020 flagship was contentious astatine the time. Today it begs the question arsenic to whether the telephone has aged good implicit the past twelvemonth oregon if it’s already excessively dated to recommend? Let’s find retired successful this Google Pixel 5 semipermanent review.

The caller models: Google Pixel 6 Pro review | Google Pixel 6 review

Google Pixel 5 reappraisal recap

Android Authority awarded the Google Pixel 5 a people of 4/5 and a coveted Recommended award. Despite mid-range specs and aging camera hardware, the handset offered large artillery life, competitory flagship features, and a top-class bundle acquisition astatine the time, though it whitethorn person been a small connected the costly side. You tin work our afloat archetypal reappraisal here.

In our six months aboriginal revisit (linked below), we were little sold connected the $699 phone’s worth proposition against the likes of the regularly discounted Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Even so, the telephone inactive represented a decent bargain owed to the committedness of 3 years of OS updates. But what’s the telephone similar a afloat 12 months down the line?

Read more: Google Pixel 5 — The bully and the atrocious six months later

How has the Google Pixel 5 aged?

Google Pixel 5 successful  hand

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Packing a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and 8GB of RAM, the Pixel 5 was acold from the cutting borderline of the show metrics astatine launch. A twelvemonth later, the telephone is adjacent further from the marketplace leaders. Even so, the handset remains much than snappy capable for day-to-day tasks and handles immoderate airy gaming conscionable fine. Just enactment distant from immoderate of the much demanding mobile titles retired there. 128GB of interior retention is besides inactive a tenable configuration, though it mightiness beryllium snug for those with large media collections.

Likewise, the Pixel 5’s 90Hz OLED display inactive looks large and scrolling is silky smooth, adjacent if the specs aren’t rather arsenic fancy arsenic the 120Hz panels present communal crossed the market. The display’s “compact” 6-inch size is much wieldy than the behemoths that stalk the precocious echelons of the mobile market, making it a large pickup if you’re looking for a somewhat smaller smartphone.

The Pixel 5 wasn't precisely cutting borderline astatine motorboat but inactive holds up reasonably well.

The handset’s IP68 standing and 15W wireless charging capabilities are inactive competitory with much costly smartphones connected the market. Likewise, the artillery beingness remains a coagulated contender for 1 of the champion successful the business. The prime of a mid-range processor and 4,080mAh compartment lends itself to implicit a day’s worthy of artillery life. I’ve regularly seen betwixt six to 9 hours of screen-on time, depending connected usage.

Google’s design, portion thing to constitute location astir astatine the time, is sturdy for a much moderately priced handset. Although the bio-resin/aluminum backmost doesn’t consciousness precise premium coming from solid devices, it’s grippy and intelligibly built to last. The inclusion of a punch-hole selfie camera, alternatively than a notch, and reasonably trim bezels inactive look and consciousness up to day too.

Related: The champion Google Pixel 5 cases you tin buy

As acold arsenic day-to-day usage goes, the Google Pixel 5 is inactive a large handset. However, determination are decidedly immoderate areas that person not aged rather truthful gracefully.

A bugbear oregon two

Google Pixel 5 fingerprint scanner

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Pixel 5 doesn’t get everything right, particularly for a telephone that erstwhile retailed for $700. For starters, the rear fingerprint scanner felt dated backmost astatine motorboat and lone seems much retired of spot arsenic in-display alternatives person trickled down to adjacent cheaper phones — though the in-display fingerprint scanner successful the Google Pixel 6 bid feels similar a measurement backmost for responsiveness. Perhaps the Pixel 5 was omniscient not to follow this exertion successful haste.

Check out: The champion Google Pixel deals

The phone’s compact plan besides leaves small country for speakers. There is simply a stereo brace present but nary grill connected the apical for dependable to emanate from. The speakers aren’t atrocious sounding arsenic such, and the caller Adaptive Sound country optimizer helps adjacent retired the muddy middles a small astatine louder volumes. But the presumption sounds off-axis arsenic the exposed talker is placed successful the bottommost right. This deficiency of equilibrium is easy made worse by tilting the telephone somewhat oregon covering the bottommost ports erstwhile holding the telephone landscape.

The telephone isn’t precise future-proof erstwhile it comes to 5G either, astatine slightest extracurricular of the US. While mmWave enactment mightiness not beryllium precise important astir overmuch of the satellite yet, it’s thing to deliberation astir erstwhile making a flagship purchase. Unfortunately, lone customers successful the US tin bargain the mmWave model, portion the remainder of the world, including Japan, is near with sub-6GHz only. Don’t slope connected roaming with overseas 5G networks either.

What astir the Pixel 5 camera setup?

Google Pixel 5 camera against water  1

David Imel / Android Authority

I’ve taken the Pixel 5 retired connected galore camera shootouts implicit the past twelvemonth and person mixed feelings astir the setup. Google hardware look hasn’t changed overmuch since the archetypal Pixel, and you tin tell. While the Pixel 5 inactive punches supra its weight, the camera bundle shows its age, peculiarly erstwhile it comes to versatility. There’s nary zoom camera here, conscionable a main and ultra-wide operation — and adjacent the ultra-wide lone has a 107-degree tract of view. Right retired of the box, you don’t person the aforesaid flexibility arsenic the 10x zoom and 120-degree ultra-wide connected the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Below is simply a enactment of pictures I’ve taken with the Google Pixel 5 implicit the past 12 months.

Unless you’re a peculiarly picky photographer, the Pixel 5 pumps retired solid-looking snaps. Boasting colors that equilibrium realism and punch, decent HDR, and almighty low-light shooting capabilities, the main camera has you good covered for a assortment of scenarios. Similar features are extended to the phone’s ultra-wide camera, which allows you to acceptable a just spot much into your shots. However, there’s a tiny prime dip erstwhile moving to the ultra-wide lens, and it doesn’t connection the cleanest presumption successful presumption of item and lens correction.

Also read: The champion camera phones you tin get

Google’s camera app is besides beauteous utile and inactive precise overmuch up to date. It allows for manual brightness and opposition controls to assistance you seizure amended pictures retired of the box. The app besides houses Google’s representation mode that offers OK borderline detection for bokeh blur, on with Night Sight, Astrophotography, and Photo Sphere capabilities. These features are present communal crossed a assortment of flagship smartphones, and the Pixel 5 keeps pace, inactive regularly performing amended than immoderate competitors.

However, Google’s fantabulous bundle can’t disguise the phone’s aging camera hardware. Closer inspection of our photos reveals higher levels of noise, unsmooth tegument textures, and inferior dynamic scope compared to the champion cameras successful the business. The Pixel 5’s pictures surely aren’t bad, but the results weren’t champion successful people successful 2020 and person fallen a small further down the curve passim 2021. While Google has remained stationary, others person overtaken.

Related: Google Pixel 6 vs Pixel 5 — What’s the quality and should you upgrade?

If you’re a instrumentality of Google’s photography bundle prowess, the Pixel 6’s upgraded sensors and the Pro’s triple camera setup remedy the brand’s deficiency of hardware innovation. It’s decidedly present the amended spot to commencement if you’re looking to dabble successful Pixel photography.

Video-wise, Google’s phones person ne'er rather been arsenic bully arsenic the champion successful the business. Despite the inclusion of 4K 60fps video, up to 120x time-lapse, slow-motion recording, and a enactment of stabilization modes, video prime is noisy and smudged successful thing but cleanable outdoor lighting conditions.

Upgrade to Android 12

Google Pixel 5 Android 12 speedy  settings

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

One of the large reasons to bargain a Pixel smartphone is timely updates, and the Pixel 5 is already rocking Android 12. It volition beryllium galore months until immoderate of Google’s biggest rivals rotation retired the latest OS update to their flagship handsets, fto unsocial past year’s models.

Personally, I don’t attraction for Google’s revamped Material You interface, the astir evident alteration with Android 12. The wasted space, bulky speedy settings, and distracting animations are a large departure from the function-first attack that gave emergence to the praise of “stock” Android, though Google has been moving distant from the Keep It Simple, Stupid, attack for a small portion now. Your mileage whitethorn vary, regardless. There are plentifulness of america astatine Android Authority that emotion the caller look.

More details: Everything you request to cognize astir Android 12

Aesthetics aside, Android 12 is simply a functional portion of kit, if not a small analyzable successful places. There are present real-time camera and mic support controls, a revamped privateness dashboard, and improved dependable adjunct typing, to sanction conscionable a fewer caller entries. Unfortunately, immoderate of Android 12’s much awesome features are reserved for the newer Pixel 6, for now, including connection translation, “Hey Google” speedy phrases, and the crippled optimizer.

The Pixel 5 sports Android 12 but immoderate of the OS' amended features are reserved for the Pixel 6.

Google promises 3 years of OS upgrades for the Pixel 5. There are 2 much to go, meaning that the handset volition stay applicable done the extremity of 2024 and into 2025. That’s a decent pledge, particularly for a much affordable flagship, and 1 that inactive sits nearer the apical of the heap — though it’s a agelong mode disconnected the semipermanent enactment Apple provides for its iPhone range.

Google Pixel 5 agelong word review: The verdict

Google Pixel 5 1  twelvemonth  aboriginal    back

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

So is the Pixel 5 inactive a bully smartphone? Sure. Should you bargain it? Well, no.

Google nary longer sells the Pixel 5 connected its storefront and appears to beryllium phasing retired the handset successful favour of its newer Pixel 5a 5G. The Pixel 5a offers precise akin specifications and comes successful astatine a much affordable $449, astatine slightest successful the US and Japan — different regions are near with the lower-end Pixel 4a. It’s a bully job, too, because, astatine $699, the Pixel 5 would beryllium intolerable to urge alternatively of the company’s caller Pixel 6, which retails for a precise tenable $599.

While the Pixel 5 is inactive a perfectly serviceable handset 12 months later, Google has managed to battalion mode much into its newer Pixel 6 portion besides knocking $100 disconnected the terms tag. With an all-new design, faster charging, a customized flagship-tier Google Tensor processor, a much modern camera package, and a somewhat longer update pledge, Google has truly stepped up its crippled with the Pixel 6 series.

The Pixel 5 is simply a good telephone but Google has outdone it with the much affordable Pixel 6.

You tin inactive find the Pixel 5 renewed oregon “as-new,” but it’s hard to urge it astatine thing implicit $500. Given the lower-cost introduction constituent and superior future-proofing of the Pixel 6, you’re amended disconnected spending your wealth connected Google’s latest smartphone.

Google Pixel 5 taking a photograph  4 1

Google Pixel 5

Google's archetypal 5G smartphone

The Google Pixel 5 whitethorn not beryllium the high-end Pixel we were expecting, but it's a beauteous compelling mid-range option. Google is going backmost to basics with the Pixel 5, ditching higher-end features similar look designation and the quirky Motion Sense gestures.

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