Paying via NFC with Google Pay is more convenient, safe, and hygienic than swiping a payment card through a seldomly cleaned payment terminal. These days, almost every flagship phone includes the NFC interface required for Google Pay to function. But that doesn't guarantee that tap-to-pay will actually work. Recently, issues have popped up on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra and the Pixel 5 — but it looks like this problem might be much more far reaching.
Camera quality has always been a major differentiating factor when choosing between smartphones, but it seems like the competition has gotten more intense over the last few years. Some manufactures like OnePlus and Huawei use sensors with big megapixel counts to stand out from the crowd, while others like Apple and Google rely more on the marriage between hardware and software. With such a tight race for the winner of the camera crown, we're highlighting three recent YouTube comparisons worth a watch.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Your Pixel 5 just arrived, clean, pristine, and unapologetically slippery with that speckled bio resin coating. It’s worth protecting, isn’t it? If you’re thinking about wrapping your new Google phone in a fancy case, we’ve rounded up five of the most compelling options on the market.
Google's latest, greatest Pixel phone is really only one of those things—after catching flack for the poor value of the Pixel 4, Google scaled back on the Pixel 5. Gone are features like Face Match, Ambient EQ, and perhaps most importantly, the telephoto camera. Instead, the Pixel 5 has a wide/ultrawide combo, and some people might prefer that. However, it's a disadvantage if you want to take photos of things from a distance.
Technology is supposed to become cheaper as it improves, but prices for high-end smartphones have done nothing but rise over the past few years. However, 2020 represents something of a change in attitude, as several companies have opted to revamp their pricing. There have always been options for cheaper smartphones, but now both Samsung and Google have released flagship-tier options for lower-than-normal prices.
The $700 Pixel 5 is Google's top phone this year, even if the internal hardware doesn't quite stack up against its competitors. Meanwhile, Samsung has slightly refreshed the Galaxy S20 and given it the same $700 price tag, deeming it the Fan Edition.
One of my favorite features on the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL were their telephoto camera lenses. While they lacked the kind of extended range you might find on a phone like the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the effective 2x zoom factor coupled with Google's Super Res Zoom AI made the Pixel 4's maximum digital zoom usable, at 8x. You don't need to take my word for it, either. Here are two photos, one taken by my Pixel 4 XL, and one by the Pixel 5, at 7x (the Pixel 5 maxes at this zoom factor).
Now that more people are staying at home these days, augmented reality has the potential to become even more important. AR may not be as novel as it once was, but that doesn't mean Google isn't continually expanding its ARCore SDK to more devices to enable them to seamlessly access AR experiences like its virtual zoo.
As the Pixel 5 starts to make its way into customers' hands, we've received several reports of a gap between the screen's plastic bumper and the bioresin-coated aluminum frame of the phone. Reports vary, but the area around the front-facing camera appears to be a hotspot for the problem, and customers are concerned this gap could affect the phone's IP-rated water resistance.
I've been using the Pixel 5 for the better part of a week now, and it's the first Google phone in years I'm getting a very particular feeling about. It takes great photos, I think the physical design is muted in a very charmingly Google way, and the software is exactly the unfettered Android experience I've come to know and love. But I'm just not sure how long I'm going to keep using it now that this review has gone up.
The Pixel 5 is by its nature an exercise in compromise. A slower chipset, the lack of face unlock, a missing telephoto camera lens, and cost cuts on components like haptics make it a bizarre case of this year's phone being worse in very material ways than last year's.
The root and ROM tinkering crowd should take note: Today Google has published the first factory and OTA images for both of its latest phones. The Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 were both recently added to download pages for each category, so if you run into trouble unlocking your bootloader and mucking around flashing modified system images, now you can quickly and easily restore your phone back to defaults.