While North America has to wait, some European markets have already shipped the Pixel 5 to those pre-ordered early. We spent 24 hours with our own retail unit to give you some of our first impressions of the Pixel 5.
Before launching, we wondered what a more “mid-range” but still “premium” Pixel 5 would be. Unlike the “a” series Pixels like 3a and 4a, this is a real shift from Google in terms of hardware, but also in terms of performance.
On paper, the Pixel 5 has a chipset that compares to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. It is certainly true that the specifications can give you a fair good indication of what to expect in advance, but they often tell only one side of the story.
That does not mean that our first impression was not preventively tempered by the “modest”
After 24 hours with the latest Made by Google phone, there are five reasons why we think you’ll love this more affordable flagship Android.
Reverse wireless charging
As for things you’ll love about the Pixel 5, reverse wireless charging might come as a surprise. That said, if you own a pair of Pixel Buds or other earbuds that include Qi charging support, wow this is a nice little bonus involvement. I have hardly had the Pixel 5 out of the box, and even at this early stage I have already used the feature twice.
Being able to fill my earplugs for five or ten minutes here and there already turns out to be a great feature – that on Pixel devices I did not think I really needed. Yes, other devices have had it first, but it’s still a good option to have when your companions can be increased on the go. Heck, you are not even limited to headphones, as reverse wireless charging might be a nice option if a friend or family member needs a little battery boost to get them through the rest of the day.
Textured back panel
Of course, first impressions count, and if you’re not a caseworker or addict, Pixel 5’s resin-coated aluminum frame might love you right away. I say it beforehand: it feels a lot like plastic, but in a really good way. Glass is great, and structured glass is even better, but for grips, a plastic or plastic-like structure is far better.
Even at this early stage, I feel less inclined to put the Pixel 5 in a case than previous models, especially since the “Sorta Sage” variant requires to be seen more than the “Just Black” model. Those who happen to be strictly “anti-case” will probably prefer not to have to worry about damaging a rear window panel as well.
To Google’s credit, the poor original battery life of the Pixel 4 series was remedied last year with the release of the Android 11 Beta phase and the full release. However, getting a larger 4,000-4,080mAh cell is still a big bonus, especially since the screen is smaller and slightly lower resolution – not that you will notice bumps down to FHD +.
After my first 24 hours with Pixel 5, my first impressions are pretty good. The battery life seems really solid, which is something I was not always able to say about any of my previous flagship Pixel devices. The bonus here is that the Snapdragon 765G is a less power-hungry chipset, so it should hopefully ensure that the long-term longevity stays good.
Charging speeds may be a little faster across the board, but they’s probably good enough for every day, especially since so far it seems like you do not have to search the charger as often.
Uniform screen frame
It’s great to think that the Pixel 5 is effectively the first Android smartphone to have a uniform frame on all sides of the device, and it definitely leaves an impression. Compared directly to the Pixel 3 XL and 4 XL, you can see the development of the design.
Sure, not everyone will be a fan of the punch hole cutout, but if it brings us more Google-made smartphones with a symmetrical look, we’re sure it will be a massive hit. It’s confusing that Samsung has made the OLED screen, but decided that it simply will not offer symmetrical frames, but Samsung fans’ loss is Pixel fans gain, we suspect. Let’s hope we get to see more Android devices adopt similar display panels in the coming years.
Compact form factor
We did not get the “real” Pixel 5 XL, which I am sure many hoped for this year, but the slightly more compact character of the Pixel 5 still leaves a good first impression on me as one who often prefers larger devices. That’s enough of an intensification in size over the Pixel 4a, but is still small enough for most, as the smaller frames mean that real estate on the screen is still impressive at 6 inches.
As we have seen the smartphone balloon in recent years, the Pixel 5 is a smaller – because it really is not small in the traditional sense – option for those who do not want to carry around what is equivalent to a tablet.
What are you excited about on Pixel 5?
These are a few of our early or first impressions of the Pixel 5, but what do you hope for or look forward to the most? Let us know in the comments section below. Have you pre-ordered Pixel 5 or Pixel 4a 5G? Be sure to tell us which model you have chosen and why also down there.
Pixel 5 is available for pre-order in the US from the Google Store, Amazon, Best Buy, B & HPoto and a host of other retailers with shipping available from October 27th.
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