Google Pixel 5 unboxed — and there’s bad news

Google Pixel 5
(Image credit: Google)

The Pixel 5 isn't due to go on sale until later this month, but we can already see the phone getting unboxed thanks to a YouTube video. And the verdict is mixed.

YouTuber Sergiu is the one behind the camera in this video, embedded below. We saw the Pixel 5 get shown off at Google's Launch Night In event yesterday, but it's interesting to see how the new phone looks in a less polished environment than Google's own keynote.

With the lid of the box removed, we see the back of the phone, here in the Just Black color. It's made from aluminum, which is different from the majority of flagships with wireless charging that use glass backs instead.

(Image credit: Sergiu)

However, Sergiu complains that this makes the phone feel cheap. While the Pixel 5 is cheaper than rival phones from Apple and Samsung, you don't want to feel that every time you pick up the phone. We'll reserve full judgment until we get our own hands on a Pixel 5 device, but we're not encouraged by what Sergiu says here.

Also on the back are the dual cameras, a 12.2MP main sensor and a 16MP ultrawide sensor; and the fingerprint scanner. While you can't see it, beneath the back is the wireless charging system that lets the Pixel 5 charge at 10W without cables, and share its power with other devices like a pair of Pixel Buds 2.

On the front, we see Google's new 6-inch FHD full-screen display with an 8MP punch-hole selfie camera. The display runs at a 90Hz refresh rate, which isn't as high as the 120Hz rate of rivals such as the Galaxy S20, but should offer a nice balance between smoothness and battery longevity.

(Image credit: Sergiu)

The box itself is similar to those of other Google products, with a mostly white design, an image of the phone and some red, blue, yellow and green highlights . The side prominently displays the 5G abilities of the phone, this being Google's first flagship compatible with the new networking standard.

Beneath the phone is the usual documentation and SIM tool, a USB-C to USB-A adaptor, and the charging brick and USB-C cable. The Pixel 5 charges at 18W like previous Pixels, which is acceptably fast. But compared to something like the 65W charger with the upcoming OnePlus 8T, it's starting to look a little underpowered.

If you want to get a Pixel 5 for yourself, then you'll have to wait until October 29 if you're in the U.S. or October 15 in the U.K. It's available in a single 128G storage spec, in either Just Black or Sorta Sage color options. It'll cost you $699 or £599, which is fairly cheap for a flagship phone, even if the hardware isn't as powerful as something you could get from Samsung or OnePlus.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.