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Google Pixel 5 was the last of its kind

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From time to time I take out a random device from edge reviews the closet and spend a week or two with it. This is mostly out of casual curiosity and for the sake of comparing “old” products with the latest and greatest. More recently, I was attracted to the 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 few days.

The experience was fantastic. I have very large hands – the iPhone 13 Pro Max looks out of place in them – and I prefer big screens, so I don’t think I can fully upgrade to the Pixel 5. But it’s such a good “small” phone (by 2022 standards) that I definitely seduced. The Pixel 5 makes it easy to do everything I need with one hand. Its mid-range processor performs better than ever on Android 12 and this phone still feels unique compared to the competition.

First of all, I’m disappointed that Google abandoned the style and size of the Pixel 5 after only a year. At the moment, the smallest phone in the company’s lineup is the Pixel 5a with a 6.3-inch display. To Google’s credit, the upcoming 6A is shrinking a bit. But with the A-series models, you forgo niceties like a 90Hz display and wireless charging. Thus, the Pixel 5 could be the last in Google’s lineup. Here are the straight lines for you.

The Pixel 5 is smaller than the Pixel 5A and Pixel 6A and has more premium hardware.
Image: Google

Now I find myself wishing Google would keep the 5 as an “iPhone SE” style product that gets updated with hardware upgrades every couple of years – without losing what makes it good. Let’s take a look at some of the Pixel 5’s strengths.

Design and materials: The Pixel 5’s 6-inch OLED display is surrounded by thin, symmetrical bezels that make it comfortable to hold in one hand. And the textured bioresin coating on the body 5 provides a unique feel and secure grip when you hold it in your hands throughout the day. The volume rocker has the same texture, while the power button is made of glossy metal, making it easy to tell them apart by touch. With its feel and size that can fit in the palm of your hand, the Pixel 5 is one of those phones that can be used without a case without much worries.

Before Google went for the common “glass sandwich” design with the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, previous models in the series often used distinctive materials and textures to help the phones stand out. With the Pixel 2, it was almost the rough back of the black model. The Pixel 4 had grippy side rails. But after the Bioresin 5 – I’m still a big fan of the Sorta Sage green with this finish – Google opted for a simpler in-hand feel with last year’s flagships.

The power button is simple and not flashy.

The Pixel 5’s biopolymer coating creates a unique feel in the hand.
Photo by Amelia Holovaty Krales / The Verge

Best Screen: The Pixel 6’s OLED panel might seem perfect from first impressions. But to be honest, it’s mediocre. There are numerous threads on Reddit complaining about uniformity issues, an unsightly green tint at lower brightness levels, and other deficiencies. The Pixel 6 Pro’s gorgeous LPTO panel exhibits none of these issues, so it’s clear that Google has settled for less to hit the $599 price 6.

Even the screen on the Pixel 5 seems to me a bit better than the 6 that replaced it. They both have a 90Hz refresh rate, but the white point, uniformity, and overall image of the 5th is a bit pleasing to my eyes. Sometimes it can come down to differences between individual devices, but I hope the Pixel 7 does better.

Pixel Imprint Rear Fingerprint Sensor: I’m still disappointed that phone makers decided in unison to move the fingerprint reader from the back of the phone, where your index finger often rests when you hold it, under the display. Google’s Pixel Imprint scanners have been arguably the fastest and most stable in the entire Android ecosystem, and let’s just say the in-screen sensor on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro has never been able to match – even after Google improved performance with software updates. . .

Stable camera performance: Google has spent several years optimizing its computational photography for the 12-megapixel main camera used in the Pixel 5 and its predecessors. And while it lacks the dynamic range of the Pixel 6/6 Pro and lacks features like Real Tone or Magic Eraser, the Pixel 5 is a solid shooter. You know what you’re getting, which isn’t always the case with the Pixel 6 line. I don’t like the nasty background blur that sometimes comes with the 6’s large sensor, but it’s something Google will surely improve.

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

Pixel 5 isn’t perfect

While I’m mostly happy with the smooth operation and overall responsiveness of the Pixel 5 on Android 12, there are still times when the Snapdragon 765G midrange processor hits a wall and freezes. Take a picture, and the frustrating delay while the phone processes the picture remains. 5 can also get stuck if you’re too ambitious in multitasking.

While I liked the look of the Pixel 5, Google’s hardware guarantee isn’t always the best. Many devices have a small gap between the display and the case. After the release of the phone, the company said that the tear was nothing to worry about, but it’s exactly the small detail that annoys me.

And then there’s that awful under-screen speaker, which still sounds tinny most of the time, even after Google tried to improve it with an “adaptive sound” setting. These symmetrical bezels are not without compromises.

But even with these shortcomings, there is something special about this phone. I was close to buying it from Woot, which sells new unopened Pixel 5s for $450. From the looks of it, Google has stumbled upon some extra stock in the warehouse somewhere. Apple’s mini iPhone is rumored to be dropped from the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, and it looks like small phones are about to disappear (again). This makes this a tempting moment to buy. The only asterisk to consider in Google’s case is that Pixel 5 software support will end in October 2023.

But perhaps by then, Google will once again introduce a small Pixel that doesn’t skimp on hardware features and doesn’t copy its larger siblings so gently.


#Google #Pixel #kind

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