Google Pixel 5 killer features coming to older phones — what you need to know

Google Pixel 5
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There are a lot of advantages to owning a Google Pixel, even after a newer model has come out. Not only do you get the latest Android updates faster, and for longer, you’ll get a stream of new features nobody else can have.

Now, as part of the December update, a bunch of Google Pixel 5 features are heading to older Pixel phones. So provided you have a Pixel 3 or newer, you’re getting some cool stuff to play with.

The main one is the Pixel 5’s “Hold for Me” feature, which saves you the hassle of having to stay on the line when a business puts you on hold. While it’s only available in U.S. English for the time being, it means Google Assistant will stay on the line and notifies you when someone at the other end is ready to talk. According to Google this saves, on average, eight minutes per call.

Also coming is Extreme Battery Saver, which limits certain apps and only runs the essential features to stop unnecessary power drain when you need every last watt. Video call app Duo is getting a boost to its screen sharing as well, and the feature is now available in group calls – provided you’re using Wi-Fi or 5G. 

But it’s not just about the older phones, because more features are coming to Pixel 5 as well. We’ve already heard about the big one, which is adaptive sound. That uses a combination of machine learning and your phone’s microphone to detect where you are and what’s happening around you. That way your music will always sound great, regardless of what’s going on nearby.

Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a devices will also get more accurate GPS when you’re on foot, as well as adaptive battery and connectivity features. Adaptive battery helps preserve battery health by controlling how both devices charge, as well as automatically saving juice when you’re likely to miss your next top up. Adaptive connectivity will also switch between 4G and 5G, depending on which network is best for your current activity.

You can read more over at the Google blog, but either way it’s a great time to have a Pixel – regardless of which one you actually use.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.