The Pixel 5 just turned one year old. How well has mid-range hardware aged? Find out in this long-term Google Pixel 5 review.
Google Pixel 5 a year later: is it still worth buying?
With the arrival of the Google Pixel 6, it’s time to celebrate the first anniversary of the Pixel 5. Even a year later, the phone is standing out in Google’s portfolio as one of the cheapest flagships on the market in recent years. years. Google resisted the trend of increasingly expensive hardware worth $ 1,000 and instead focused on its core software skills while cutting the price of previous-gen hardware by $ 100. $.
Google’s decision to adopt more mid-range specs and a lower price tag for its 2020 flagship model was controversial at the time. Today the question arises as to whether the phone has aged well over the past year or whether it is already too outdated to recommend. Let’s find out in this long-term Google Pixel 5 review:
Google Pixel 5 review summary
Despite the mid-range specs and aging camera hardware, the phone offered excellent battery life, competitive flagship features, and a high-end software experience at the time, although maybe it was. be a bit expensive.
In our six-month review (link below), we sold less of the phone’s $ 699 price promise compared to the regularly discounted Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Despite the promise of three years of operating system updates, the phone was still a decent buy, but what does the phone look like in full 12 months?
How has the Google Pixel 5 aged?
With a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor and 8GB of RAM, the Pixel 5 was far from the top of performance metrics when it launched. A year later, the phone is even further from the market leaders. nimble enough for everyday tasks and handles some light games very well. Just walk away from some of the more demanding mobile titles. 128GB of internal storage is still a reasonable configuration, although it may be sufficient for those with large media collections.
Likewise, the Pixel 5’s 90Hz OLED display still looks great and the scrolling feels silky smooth, though the specs aren’t as sophisticated as the 120Hz panels on the market today. The 6-inch ‘compact’ screen size is more manageable than the giants lurking in the upper echelons of the cellular market, making it a great option if you’re looking for a slightly smaller smartphone.
The phone’s IP68 rating and 15W wireless charging capacity keep it competitive with the most expensive smartphones on the market. Likewise, battery life remains a strong contender for one of the best in the business. offers more than a day of autonomy. I saw six to nine hours of screen time on a regular basis, depending on usage.
Google’s design, while nothing special at the time, is rugged for a more moderately priced phone. Although the bio-resin / aluminum back does not feel very high quality due to the glass devices, it is non-slip and clearly designed to last. The inclusion of a pierced selfie camera instead of a notch and the somewhat cropped bezels also look and feel updated.
In terms of everyday use, the Google Pixel 5 is still a great phone. However, there are certainly areas that have not aged so gracefully.
A mistake or two
The Pixel 5 doesn’t do everything right, especially for a phone that once sold for $ 700. For starters, the rear fingerprint scanner dates from launch and just looks outdated. Screen alternatives have leaked on even cheaper phones, although the undisputed Google Pixel 6 series fingerprint scanner appears to be a step backwards in responsiveness. Maybe the Pixel 5 was smart not to embrace this tech anytime soon.
The compact design of the phone also leaves little space for the speakers. There is a stereo pair here, but there is no grille at the top to allow sound to radiate. The speakers don’t sound bad on their own, and the new Adaptive Sound Room Optimizer helps compensate for muddy mids at higher volumes. But the presentation sounds like a hub when the exposed speaker is positioned at the bottom right. This imbalance is easily exacerbated by tilting the phone slightly or covering the bottom connectors when the phone is held in a horizontal position.
The phone isn’t very future-proof, even when it comes to 5G, at least outside of the US. While support for mmWave is not yet that big in much of the world, the flagship purchase should be considered. , only customers in the United States can buy the mmWave model, while the rest of the world including Japan only has Sub6GHz. Also, don’t rely on roaming on foreign 5G networks.