Test: The Google Pixel 5 six months later

The Google Pixel 5 has been my daily companion for a good six months and will probably stay by my side until the new Pixel 6. Now I would like to look back at what the Pixel 5 was able to inspire me with and what Google should perhaps do better with a preview of the upcoming Pixel 6 this year. It is a new and final conclusion that may be a little different from the one after the first few weeks.

Battery life and fast charging: Little room for criticism

An important point is the significantly larger battery. Unfortunately, in the last few months I have missed long trips on which I usually use my smartphones as WiFi hotspots for mobile work. Nevertheless, with regard to the Pixel 5’s battery, it can be said that Google has made a very big leap compared to the previous generations. And not just on the data sheet.

For some time now I have only been using dark mode in the evening, but the battery life has not decreased noticeably. I think there are noticeable but only minor differences in battery consumption with the bright design. For me, it is important not to have to charge in between, even on long days when we are out and about. That was often only just achieved with the Pixel 4, now it’s different.

With the Pixel 5, for the first time, I don’t waste any thought on whether I can still get by with the rest of the battery. That is a good feeling and, for me, very essential. I don’t want to have to think several times a day whether I’ll be able to get to the nearest socket in time. There could be even more in the future if Google takes efficiency to a new level with its own processor.

A real criticism, however, is the fast charging. Because of the narrow 18 watts, you can’t really call it that. If I do have to recharge quickly, I would definitely want a higher power consumption for the Pixel 6. 30 watts would be enough, it doesn’t have to be 60 or 100 watts. This also applies to wireless charging. A little more steam would be desirable.

Fast on the road, just not as fast as the competition

Actually, the package is enough under the hood, with which the Pixel 5 is powered. But it could be a whole lot faster. In comparison with similarly equipped smartphones such as the OnePlus Nord, the Pixel 5 does not cut a particularly good figure. It often takes a little longer and doesn’t always feel so fluid. On the one hand it is fast, but not yet a top level. In any case, I was not completely satisfied.

For the upcoming Pixel 6, we expect the already mentioned in-house processor from Google, which can also be optimally adapted to your own needs in terms of Google’s performance. Apple should serve as a model here. The way that the Cupertino group coordinates its software and hardware perfectly should also be the benchmark for Google’s own smartphones.

The camera takes great photos, but offers too little creativity overall

Taking an excellent photo from the wrist – that is what the Pixel series has been about since the fifth generation. It is still the top feature of Google cell phones to this day. This also applies to the integrated ultra-wide-angle camera, which is in almost no way inferior to the main camera, especially in terms of color reproduction. I’m a big fan for this application and I also enjoyed the additions like slow motion and fast motion. It’s pretty obvious how well this camera is still doing today.

But often enough I found myself finding the options on offer to be quite thin. Google should therefore not overload the camera app with features. But even Apple now has more functions at the start. I’m thinking of more gimmicks in the area of ​​exposure (light painting, etc.) or the single-take feature from Samsung. I once wrote down here more about my wishes in the field of cameras.

Keep it simple, please!

A very simple-looking housing without glass on the back, the classic fingerprint sensor and the software that is not overloaded with functions – all of this makes the Pixel 5 ideal for everyday use. This smartphone does not attract attention because it does not bring any experiments and does not overwhelm us in any way. This is a big plus compared to almost all other Android smartphones. If you want it to be calm and straightforward, as is the case with me.

Remaining simple: Pixels 3 to 5 next to each other.

Google is happy to keep this inconspicuousness for the Pixel 6. In my opinion, Google does not have to attract attention with a fourfold rounded display or with a huge camera hump. The biometric unlocking method is welcome to stay in its classic form and I certainly do not want a 6.7 ″ display diagonal. If Google still keeps the price so low at less than 700 euros, the Pixel 6 would already be a “no brainer” or “instant buy”.


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