Google Pixel 5 Review

Zoe Dumas Profile image

Written by:

Updated June 1, 2023
96 Expert Rating

When the time comes to buy the best smartphone, Google Phones are always tempting for their amazing camera performance and minimalist Android OS experience. In the Google Pixel 5, Google continues the tradition of offering one of the best smartphone cameras available at a fraction of the price of competitors. Though it doesn’t breach the top 3 of our list for the best low light camera phone, the Pixel 5 can capture some truly breathtaking images. Thanks to its accessible size and functional design, the Pixel 5 is a top choice on the lists for the best small phones and best phone for business.

Why We Like It – Google Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5 feels and runs like a premium phone, which is especially nice considering its $700 price tag. Though it’s not the cheapest phone available, Google packs into the Pixel 5 a plethora of excellent design choices that make this phone fun and easy to use.

  • 90Hz refresh rate
  • Excellent camera performance
  • Solid battery
  • Durability potentially compromised by construction

Overall Performance

The Google Pixel 5 performs adequately, though its older hardware will necessitate poorer performance than that of higher-end phones like the Apple iPhone 11 Pro. Everything moves quickly and efficiently for everyday tasks like messaging and social media browsing. On the whole, reviewers found games run well on the Pixel 5, although some did experience some lag and missing frames. The camera, though, is another story. Pixel phones are known for their fantastic camera performance, and the new Pixel continues that legacy. Although it doesn’t sport the bevy of lenses that the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra does, the ultra-wide and main camera lenses are absolutely phenomenal. Photos are dynamic and vibrant, and, thanks to Google Night Sight, even low light photos come out looking stunning. In portrait mode, you can easily adjust the lighting to ensure your selfies look their best, and, thanks to the most recent update to Google Camera, excellent videos can be shot with the cinematic pan feature. As a phone itself, the Pixel 5 performs well, even if it’s not one of the best 5g phones or the most secure phone. International travelers and business people will also enjoy this phone’s dual-sim capability: it’s our top choice for the best dual sim phone.

Battery Life

The Pixel 5’s battery life is solid, coming in between 9 to 10 hours on a single charge. Though not quite on par with the similarly-priced Apple iPhone 11, the Pixel 5 battery should easily get you through the day with regular wi-fi and app usage. User reviewers concur, as even those that describe their usage as heavy often have some battery life to spare by the day’s end. Whenever the time does come, the Google Pixel 5 can be charged through the USB C port or via a wireless charging mat. Another fantastic feature of this new phone is the addition of reverse charging, meaning you can charge other devices, like a wireless earbuds case, by just resting it atop your phone.


This phone has a fabulous display that is greatly emphasized by the 90Hz refresh rate. While this doesn’t beat the 120Hz refresh rate found on the similarly-priced Samsung Galaxy S20 FE, everything still looks and feels faster, smoother, and bouncier than the standard 60Hz refresh rate. Everything on this 6” AMOLED display looks sharp, bright, and vibrant. What’s even better, the display is nearly bezel-less and the punch-hole camera is beyond unobtrusive. No matter what you use this Google phone for, whether it’s creating content, watching videos, or just scrolling through your news feed, rest assured that it’ll look stellar.


Available in Just Black and Sorta Sage, the Google Pixel 5 has a metal construction hidden beneath a bio-resin body. In order to make this Pixel Phone work with Qi wireless charging pads, there is a portion of the metal construction missing so as not to obstruct the path to the wireless charging coil. The bio-resin is strong and durable, though it can ostensibly be scratched away. This construction also results in the screen popping out of the frame during bending research, so, while the phone is IP68 certified, it won’t be so water resistant anymore. This phone boasts a Gorilla Glass 6 protected screen, which stands up to scratches as well as the majority of other smartphones.


The Google Pixel 5 is an excellent phone, but it fails to deliver enough new features from its predecessor, the Google 4a 5G. That said, there’s a lot to love about this phone. The cameras are all stupendous, often beating out the higher-priced competition in side-by-side comparisons, and the display is equally impressive. As with any Pixel Phone, Google Fi users have access to greater coverage nationwide, and Google Assistant syncs with your other devices. Buyers may earn extra perks when purchasing the Pixel 5 through the Google Store, too. You can also check out the Apple iPhone 12 Mini if you want a similalrly priced phone.

Google Pixel 5 Wrap Up

Android phones can be fairly hit-or-miss when it comes to quality, but the Google Pixel 5 demonstrates just how wonderful the Android OS can be. This phone is fast and reliable with solid battery life. It is a bit worrisome that the back can be more-or-less scraped off, though it seems one would actively have to try doing so to achieve any real damage. What really makes this phone great, though, is its fantastic display and absolutely wonderful cameras. If you’re the photographer in your social circle, definitely consider the Google Pixel 5.

Zoe Dumas Profile image