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‘Impressive’ phone is missing one thing

For the past week I’ve had my hands on Google’s newest premium smartphone, the Pixel 5. Although I review a lot of phones, over the past six months I’ve been a frequent user of the Pixel 4 and I’ve been impressed to see the changes that have come with the latest iteration.One of the biggest…

For the past week I’ve had my hands on Google’s newest premium smartphone, the Pixel 5. Although I review a lot of phones, over the past six months I’ve been a frequent user of the Pixel 4 and I’ve been impressed to see the changes that have come with the latest iteration.

One of the biggest differences between the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 5 is something you cannot see. That’s the upgrade from 4G to 5G speeds. Phone companies are now all making the leap to support 5G networks and Google is definitely not lagging behind here, pun intended.

The Pixel 5 comes in two colours. One of which is a new colour, which looks really nice and kinda green but I kid you not when I say Google officially calls the greenish colour “sorta sage”. I love that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my hands on that one and mine’s “just black” – that’s again, literally, what Google is calling their other colourway – the all black option.

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Silliness aside, so many features of this smartphone have been bumped up with little upgrades, which is fantastic. There’s now no bezel at the top of the screen, meaning the screen is slightly larger, increasing from 5.7” to 6”, ram is increased from 6GB to 8GB, internal storage from 64GB to 128GB.

Google has also added in a fingerprint reader, found on many of their other smartphone models – just not the previous Pixel 4. Also, they have now included reverse wireless charging, which means you can charge other devices, such as the Google Pixel buds, by placing them on top of the Pixel 5.

On the topic of battery, it’s been increased from 2800mAH to 4080 mAh which is now the biggest battery out of Google’s latest smartphone line-up. The phone even has an intelligent feature called “adaptive battery”, which is software that adjusts how much power your phone uses throughout the day to keep your battery lasting longer.

It has an all day battery life but this technology can in fact keep your phone’s battery lasting for up to 48 hours. There are bigger batteries in phones on the market, but this is how Google competes while offering a smartphone that remains small and pocketable.

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Features that remain relatively unchanged are its (appreciated) IP68 dust and water resistance, 8MP selfie camera, 12MP rear wide camera and 16MP ultrawide camera (previously telephoto lens).

The body of the phones feel similar, however, the Pixel 5 is made out of a 100% recycled aluminium enclosure, which feels great in the hand! It’s slightly more tactile than the previous Pixel 4’s smooth glass body, which makes the Pixel 5 not only less slippery but really durable.

The only things you may be missing from this device is that it doesn’t have a regular 3.5mm headphone jack port (the Pixel 4a does if you’re keen on the Pixel range) and they removed the Pixel 4’s active edge feature.

Active edge is surprisingly something I really miss. You were able to squeeze your phone to activate your Google assistant. It’s quite gimmicky but I didn’t realise how much I used it. Though, to have it missing is not the end of the world as it could sometimes be a bit finicky.

The most impressive part about the Pixel 5 is you get all of these improvements for $999. The phone is even $200 cheaper than the previous (equivalent 128GB) Pixel 4 model. It’s really awesome how much Google are trying to double down on packing in the most important features giving you an excellent all rounder at an appropriate price.

Not only that, Google Pixel devices are now pretty much the only phones I feel comfortable using without a case because they’re so durable. So, you’ll save yourself the extra cost of buying a phone case too, I’d say the Pixel 5 is pretty good deal.

Elly Awesome is an Aussie tech and lifestyle vlogger | @ellyawwesome | YouTube

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