Review Cellular strives to provide unbiased, comprehensive, up-to-date smartphone and cell phone plan reviews. We use our extensive knowledge of the marketplace and user feedback across the web to provide valuable insights. Let us do all the digging so you can make an informed decision.
Disclosure: Review Cellular is reader supported. When you buy through links on this site, we will earn an affiliate commission. Thank you for your support.
Launched in September 2020, the new Pixel 5 is the successor to the extremely popular Google Pixel 4a and Pixel 3a. With the Pixel line of smartphones, Google has always sought to offer an excellent blend of hardware and software. Yet again, the company has worked its magic and launched a top-notch Android phone under the thousand-dollar mark.
Google Pixel 5 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, supporting a robust 5G network. Compared to the Pixel 4a, it sports a better display with a 90hz refresh rate, bigger battery, wireless charging, and much more. Rather than using a flagship level processor, Google opted for a more affordable 5G chipset to cut costs. It makes sense considering economic conditions during the Covid era. With the purest version of Android 11, Google Pixel 5 promises Android updates for 3 years with regular security updates. I find it competing head to head against devices like the OnePlus 9, Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, LG VELVET, and other devices running the same processor. Our detailed Google Pixel 5 review will take a closer look at the Pixel device and how it fits into the Google Pixel smartphones lineup.
Google Pixel 5 arrives in a pleasant white colored box. The Google Logo appears at the top, followed by the Pixel 5 branding and a picture of the device. The back of the box is inscribed with #teampixel. Opening the box reveals the device with its back facing up. A transparent protective film covers the screen. Under the smartphone are the product guides and SIM ejection tool. At the bottom, you’ll find a charging adapter, a Type-C charging cable, and a quick switch adapter.
YouTube content on this site is displayed using an Elementor Pro Video Playlist widget under YouTube Terms of Service https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms. Trademarks, copyrights, brand names and images displayed in this embed are the property of their respective owners, and are for identification purposes only.
At first glance, the Pixel 5 may appear similar to the Pixel 4a. However, you’ll notice a difference as soon as you pick up the device. Unlike the 4a, Pixel 5 features an aluminum frame that feels premium to hold. The front of the phone has a near-bezel-less screen with a punch-hole selfie camera in the top left corner. The Pixel 5 is available in two elegant colors – Just Black and Sorta Sage. We received the Sorta Sage variant.
The rugged texture on the back appears attractive and provides a solid grip. The back also hosts the square camera module near the top left edge. The camera bump is very minimal, which is a big plus. A fingerprint sensor is also present in the middle. The Google logo appears at the bottom in metallic gray color. Pixel 5 is less prone to fingerprints compared to other phones made of plastic and glass backs. IP68 certification means it is water-resistant and highly durable. The best part? Google figured out a way to make the Pixel 5 wirelessly chargeable while using a metal back.
The power key and volume rocker button are on the right edge. The volume rocker button is of sage color, whereas the power key has a chrome look. The SIM card tray is on the left edge. Finally, at the bottom, you get the USB Type-C charging port and speaker. I feel that Pixel 5 honors Google’s design philosophy of focusing on user experience instead of just size.
Excellent photography is at the heart of the Google Pixel smartphone. Google Pixel 5 comes with a high rating for photos, videos, and selfies. It features the following cameras:
The 12.2 MP camera has everything you need to capture sharper, brighter photos. The large aperture camera performs beautifully in all lighting conditions, including low light, backlit scenes, and close-up shots. With support for autofocus, HDR+, and optical + electronic image stabilization, you get improved color capture and more realistic skin tones. All the photos clicked by the primary camera were highly detailed, giving the Pixel 5 a competitive edge over flagship smartphones.
Google ditched the telephoto lens on the Pixel 4 and instead went with an ultrawide lens for the Pixel 5’s camera setup. So, if you’re capturing pictures of a beach or stadium crowd, the ultra wide lens will capture the entire scene in a single shot. You can also take stunning selfies with a good depth of field and make video calls with the 8MP selfie camera.
The Google camera app has a boatload of features that enhance your pictures. They’re laid out straightforwardly for easy understanding. You can capture beautiful low-light portraits and starry nights in stunning clarity without turning on the flash, using Night Sight mode. If you feel shadows are affecting your photos, the Pixel can enhance the lighting for better results. Lighting can also be adjusted later manually for desired results. You can also capture cinematic-quality videos with the Pixel. The 4K videos shot on the Pixel 5 are super-smooth, inspired by the equipment used in Hollywood movies. Overall, the image quality is comparable to the iPhone 11.
Google Pixel 5 has the most advanced display in the Pixel lineup, featuring a 6-inch OLED screen with minimal bezels and HDR10+ support. Google didn’t cut any corners when it comes to the display. The screen is on par with other high-end flagship smartphones. It has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a pixel density of 432 pixels per inch. Watching videos on YouTube, or Netflix feels immersive with good viewing angles.
Gameplay was fantastic since the screen is clear and crisp. A 90Hz refresh rate further improves the gaming experience, and everything feels fluid. Those upgrading from 60Hz refresh rate displays will notice a significant difference. Text, icons, and content on the screen are easily readable. We also didn’t face any issues while using the device in broad daylight.
A 4,080mAh battery gives the Pixel 5 enough power to last the entire day. Its siblings, such as the Pixel 4 XL, features a 3,700mAh battery, while the Pixel 4 has a 2,800mAh battery. After a day of continuous video streaming, scrolling social media feeds, and playing games, we were only down to 30% battery life. Adaptive Battery also makes your Pixel phone last longer by learning from your app usage and restricting power to apps you rarely use. As a further measure to improve battery life, the Pixel might shift back to 60Hz when you don’t need a 90Hz refresh rate.
According to Google, the device can even last up to 48 hours if you turn on the Extreme Battery Saver mode. You also receive an 18W fast charger along with the device. Pixel 5’s fast and wireless charging capabilities give you more time to do the things you love. The device also supports reverse wireless charging so that you can charge your Pixel buds or other essential devices on the go.
With the Google Pixel 5, you won’t have to worry about constantly running out of storage space. A whopping 128GB of internal storage ensures you have plenty of room to save thousands of photos, videos, apps, and files. We believe 128 GB is a sufficient amount of space for most user needs. Even if you constantly take photos or videos and download heavy files, 128GB of storage will get you through it. However, if you still need more space, you can subscribe to cloud storage through Google Drive, Google Photos or Google One.
Similar to the Pixel 4a 5G, the Pixel 5 also comes equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor. Powered by 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM, it handles multitasking with ease. I believe Google has made a wise decision choosing the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor, making the Pixel 5 cost-efficient and powerful while also providing 5G support. You can download your favorite movies, apps, and games in an instant using 5G data. Blazing-fast 5G technology opens up a new door of possibilities for gamers. With a 5G hotspot, you can also share your fast internet connection with friends or connect your laptop while on the go.
It runs on the latest Android 11 out of the box, which feels super smooth to use. It’s a no-brainer that Pixel smartphones offer the best Android experience. The user interface is clean and clear, with no unnecessary apps or bloatware. The best part? Google Pixel 5 comes with at least three years of OS and security updates. We opened multiple apps, games, chrome tabs simultaneously experiencing no hiccup or crash.
Gaming performance is decent, as we could play graphic-intensive games such as Call of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends with no major frame drops. For most users, the Snapdragon 765G processor will get them through everyday tasks with ease.
Google Assistant is also fully integrated with Pixel 5, letting you use your voice to do more than any other Android phone. It can provide help on the go, answer your questions, and even show you who’s calling before you decide to pick up the phone. Further, it automatically holds robocalls and alerts you whenever an actual person is on the line.
Keep your most sensitive data, including passwords and payment information, safe and secure with Pixel 5’s industry-grade Titan M security chip. The chip is similar to the one that Google uses to protect its Cloud data centers. Pixel also receives automatic updates to ensure your phone’s security is never compromised. Integrated security features help Pixel owners stay safe from malicious apps, texts, and emails. Your device is defended against malware by Google Play Protect. It scans and verifies 100 billion apps each day to keep your device, data and apps safe.
Designed to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy consumers, the Google Pixel 5 comes with premium features at a reasonable price. It embodies the core values of what makes a Google phone great – a decent processor, all-day battery capacity, and an unmatched camera in a unibody aluminum design. Pixel 5 is a worthy upgrade for those who already own a device from the previous Pixel series. The performance of the smartphone remains top notch even when there are multiple apps open at once.
The Google Pixel 5 continues the Pixel tradition of providing a pleasing stock Android experience and access to the latest Android updates. From its comfortable feel, easy-to-use software, and intuitive assist – Google Pixel 5 is ready to help you achieve more than you ever thought possible.
Yes, the Google Pixel 5 is waterproof, as it has an IP68 certification.
Yes, it supports fast charging and comes with an 18W charging adapter.
The Google Pixel 5 is available through the Google Store website.
Yes, the Google 5G Pixel phone has reverse wireless charging.
Yes, 5G support is one of the key features of Google Pixel 5.
The Google Pixel 5 was released on October 29, 2020.
AT&T Wireless, Verizon Prepaid Phones, Verizon Smartphones