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Thoughts on the Pixel 5

January 18, 2021

I replaced my Pixel 3XL with a Pixel 5 this fall, and having used it a couple of months now I think that overall Google did a good job with it (although I’m admittedly biased). Things I like:

  • The lower price tag. Processors are fast enough and displays are good enough that you can get a great phone experience without a bleeding edge device. Admittedly I don’t play graphics-intensive games on my phone.
  • The form factor. Getting rid of the notch (and ditching Soli from the Pixel 4) allows the display to go edge-to-edge, allowing a large display with a smaller device. As a result, the phone feels comfortable in hand.
  • Battery life. I mostly spend my time on wifi these days instead of the cell network (ah, the joys of sheltering-in-place), but even so the Pixel 5’s battery lasts almost 5 days for me, compared to 2-3 days for my Pixel 3XL (caveat: I turn my phone off at night).
  • Rear fingerprint sensor: yes, it’s old school, but it works, and it works well (fast and reliable). And it works when wearing a mask.
  • Lack of Soli: Soli was little more than a series of gimmicks that sucked up battery. I had my fill of overly-gimmicky features working for Samsung, so I’m glad it’s gone.
  • Lack of bloatware: I still don’t understand why people put up with bloatware jammed onto their phone by OEMs and carriers.

The biggest downside is that the phone is slightly slower to process photos when taking pictures. It hasn’t interfered with my photo-taking (yet?), but it is noticeable. It might bother me more if I could actually travel and take pictures. Otherwise it’s a solid upgrade over both the Pixel 3 and 4 (which I haven’t personally owned but have used as a development platform for work).

From → Hardware, Mobile

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