Pixel 5 has a screen gap — but Google says it's 'part of of the design'

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

Google says you shouldn’t worry about the gap between the Google Pixel 5’s screen and the frame, as its apparently a “normal part of the design."

For a $699 handset, that might be a tough line to swallow, but it’s apparently the stance a community specialist on Google’s support forums has taken. “We’ve had a chance to investigate units from customers and, combined with our quality control data from the factory, we can confirm that the variation in the clearance between the body and the display is a normal part of the design of your Pixel 5,” the specialist said. 

We haven't noticed any screen gap on either of our Pixel 5 review units. We found Google's new phone to be solidly built, even if its not made from the same premium materials as competitors like the iPhone 12.

However, we’re a tad confused as to why a screen gap would actually be part of the Pixel 5’s design. The community specialist is called David Pop, but we found no indication of him being a Google Employee. His profile does contain a badge that signals he is a Google partner who can “help ensure the quality of community content,” but there’s nothing to suggest he’s an official Google spokesperson.

As such, be prepared to take his statement with a dollop of skepticism. We’ve heard no official comment from Google on the screen gap issue. 

Pixel 5 screen gap

(Image credit: superleeds27)

Back to the Pixel 5’s screen gap issue, Pop said there’s “no effect on the water and dust resistance or functionality,” which is somewhat promising. 

But we can’t help feeling that there shouldn't be such concerns around a phone that costs nearly $700, especially when you have the likes of the OnePlus 8T with a fantastic build quality for the same price. Speaking of OnePlus, one disgruntled support forum user said they’d go back to using OnePlus phones as they felt the Pixel phones has decreased in quality.

In our Google Pixel 5 review, we found the new phone to be a rather decent Android handset overall. Its camera performance is stellar, but its chip performance is less impressive, though perfectly capable. And it’s lacking a little in terms of features, such as a 120Hz refresh rate that the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE has for the same price.

If the Pixel 5 was some $100 cheaper it might have a little more appeal, especially when the pure Android expense on it is so good. But keep an eye out for some Black Friday deals, as that’s often a good time to pick up a Pixel phone for a bargain price.  

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.