Pixel 5 Review by HighOnAndroid!

Google has released their latest Pixel 5 Android smartphone, a 6-inch 2340×1080 resolution OLED display with 90Hz of refresh rate. The Pixel 5 features Snapdragon 765G processor, 128GB of internal storage with UFS 2.1, 8 gigs of RAM, 12.2MP main camera, 16MP super-wide angle camera, rear fingerprint sensor, and 4080mAh battery with support for fast charging at 18 watts with USB PD 2.0, and ships with latest Android 11. While the Pixel 5 has excellent long battery life and one of the best photo capabilities on a smartphone today, is it right for you? Well, I honestly believe there’s a right phone for every single one of you out there and this could be it or it might not be, let’s find out!

Video review:

So the first thing to consider is the size of the phone. Google has not released a bigger version of the Pixel 5 this year and as someone who usually prefers bigger smartphones, the Pixel 5 screen is simply too small for anyone out there who likes the sizes of Galaxy Notes, LG V60s, etc…etc… But there are times when I want a small phone and the Pixel 5 is an excellent/efficient small Android smartphone in the world of giant smartphones. Perhaps you have small hands, perhaps you just don’t like big phones as it wears down your pants, or perhaps you just simply like cute small things. The Pixel 5 is well designed with metal finish yet it feels like touching paper and I love how it does not pick up fingerlickin’ fingerprints. If you want some soft feel that feels like petting your cat or dog, this is definitely it.

The second thing to consider is battery life. The Pixel 5 hands-down gets the longest battery out of all my smartphones I own for the last 9 years ever since Nexus One came out. But does it have a big battery? No, with just a 4080mAh battery, Pixel 5 is able to outlast the likes of Galaxy S20 Ultra, LG V60, and pretty much any other phone I have owned thanks to its ultra-efficient battery saving algorithm. Still don’t believe it? Well, you just gotta try one and you will become a believer. This is one phone you can really go all day long, it’s just that smart of a phone. And guess what, no one else can optimize the Android operating system better than Google, obviously because they make Android duh!

The third thing to consider is optimization of apps. There’s absolutely no lag or performance issues even though it’s running a much slower Snapdragon 765G processor. Again, thanks to Google’s optimization, apps run fast, switching between apps is a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about hiccups/bugs other manufacturers added, which is a huge problem when you start adding too much high-level code to original Android OS like Samsung or LG. If you don’t need the raw power of latest Snapdragon 865 yet you need more battery life, the Pixel 5 is definitely got that for you along with 5G.

The fourth thing to consider? I hate in-display fingerprint sensors, they are completely useless, gimmicky, and much slower to unlock my smartphone, nevermind leaving extra fingerprints on my display. Besides that, it’s much cheaper to put the fingerprint sensor on that back and it’s simply natural, easier to unlock your phone. Why companies continue the useless trend, I have no idea but as an Android purist, rear-fingerprint is the ONLY way to go forward. For that, I love Pixel 5.

The fifth thing to consider?

Best photos on a smartphone? Hands-down Google wins this every year thanks to its award-winning AI algorithm. Especially if you love taking photos of your pets, Google’s portrait mode works on pets too! Ditch your DSLR or mirrorless camera and take excellent photos with the Pixel 5. Video capabilities are on par with every flagship out today.

The sixth thing to consider?

Fast software upgrades and all-carrier compatibility is better than any other Android smartphone. Android updates to Android 12 next month? You will be first to get it, nevermind that you can even sign up for beta and try it before anyone else, all without rooting. And did we mention rooting? All Pixel phones offer one of the best rooting experiences and you can pretty much install any custom ROM or GSI you want. Pixel 5 is also an all-carrier phone meaning you can use on AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, and even Google’s own Google Fi. I actually switched to Google Fi about a week ago and saved a bunch of money over T-Mobile. Besides that, now all my spammer gets handled through Google Caller Assistant. It’s a great feeling when spammers have to go through my automated personal Google robot.

What’s missing with Google Pixel 5?

The sound is just not loud especially for those of you who enjoy phone calls/video chats using the speakerphone. In comparison to LG and Samsung, the speaker sound is much lower and hard to use in crowded public places. Works okay at home but definitely that’s the weakest feature of Pixel 5. Pixel 4 XL has excellent speakers yet Pixel 5 got a little worse. Stereo sound is okay but again speaker sound thru the top speaker is too low, ultimately giving uneven stereo sound. Well, the problem is that it’s simply not loud enough.

Overall, the Pixel 5 is an excellent choice for those of you who want really, really, really long battery life in a small form factor with support for the latest 5G on any carrier. Google has really outdone themselves this year proving their phones are superior to others thanks to its smarter and original Android operating system and only really focused on practical things people need like a rear fingerprint sensor, super wide-angle camera, and a really long battery life. This is definitely not a gamer’s phone but for those of you who appreciate long battery life and efficient performance from a small device.

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Max Lee

Max Lee is the founder of HighOnAndroid.com. Max makes Android tutorials and review videos for people who want to get high on Android over at his YouTube channel and Korean YouTube channel.