04 Sep The best smartphones, tried and tested
Happily though, the magic is back with the Pixel 5. In a big way too.
One of the first things to say is that unlike most phones in 2020, there’s no XL model this time, so you’ve got a 6inch display. If you’ve got big hands or you’re used to a big screened behemoth, it might take some getting used to. For me, it’s about the perfect size. The phone’s 151g weight, achieved with a recycled aluminium chassis rather than the typical glass, also helps it feel very comfortable.
The screen is solid: full HD+, slightly higher resolution than full HD, and with a high dynamic range, so all the colours really pop. While competitors are steaming ahead with a 120Hz ultra-smooth refresh rate, Google has plumped for a cheaper 90Hz. It’s no great loss, given that these smoothly animated screens are a reasonably new phenomenon which the average Joe has probably neither heard of nor experienced, and are only really noteworthy if you play a lot of phone games.
So far, so pretty good. But lets move on to the thing people buy Pixel phones for: the camera.
In classic Google fashion we’ve got some average-to-poor hardware here (12.2MP outer and 8MP inner cameras) which are able to punch far above their thanks to nifty software enhancements. That means you still get the beautiful selfies, the colourful pictures, and the amazing astrophotography mode. I haven’t taken a photo I’m not happy with on a Pixel phone and that holds true here. Plus, one brilliant new feature on the Pixel 5 is the addition of a much-requested wide-angle lens.