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Google Pixel 5 review: new phone, old tricks

Vox Media
the Max / XL / Plus
Ambient EQ
Apple Portrait Lighting
Google Pay
Voice Recorder

Becca Farsace

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Google Photos

Pixel 5
Snapdragon 765
the Pixel Neural Core


the Pixel 5.It

Positivity     51.00%   
   Negativity   49.00%
The New York Times
Write a review: The Verge

See our ethics statement.The amount of effort Google seems to put into its Pixel phones while simultaneously ensuring that they look and feel mundane never ceases to astonish me. Google also dropped the ability to squeeze the phone to call up Google Assistant, but I don’t miss that.The OLED screen is good, but it doesn’t quite live up to the flagship standards set by the Galaxy S20 or iPhone 11 Pro. It’s only 1080p, for one thing. For all of 2020, the best Android phones have had Qualcomm’s fastest chip, but Google has chosen to go with something a little slower in the Pixel 5G. There’s a lag between shots when in portrait mode, which keeps me from shooting as quickly as I’d like, and I frequently have to wait for the HDR processing to finish when I review a shot after the fact.As for battery life, I can happily report that Google has figured it out after the terrible battery life in last year’s Pixel 4. It’s not a reason to avoid the Pixel 5, but 5G is certainly not enough justification to go out and buy one — same as any other 5G phone.But there is a hidden tax to 5G: it makes phones more expensive. Google is still using the same image sensor for the main 12-megapixel lens that it’s used since the Pixel 3. It’s different from Apple Portrait Lighting effects, which are more about dramatic looks than adjusting the light.My least favorite part of the Pixel 5’s camera is that so many of its modes — from portrait to video stabilization — crop in on the shot. Finally, “Cinematic Pan” essentially combines both slo-mo and aggressive stabilization so you can get some dramatic shots while moving the phone around (though, unfortunately, it drops the resolution down to 1080p).All three of these modes won’t impress a videographer, but for a schlub like me, they meant I was able to get some interesting footage that otherwise would have been a jittery, jerky mess.At the end of the day, the Pixel 5 earned its place as my favorite smartphone camera for photos. If Google didn’t insist on heavily branding the video with its own logos, I’d use it a bunch.My favorite Google phone of all time isn’t actually a Pixel; it’s the Nexus 5. You can see the parallel to the Pixel 5.It may be disappointing to see Google shy away from the big leagues this year, but I think sticking to making a premium midrange phone is more true to the Pixel’s whole ethos. The Pixel 5 is not an especially exciting phone, but instead of overreaching, Google focused on the fundamentals: build quality, battery life, and, of course, the camera.

As said here by Dieter Bohn