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The first Pixel 5 'hands-on' video may reveal some performance, UX and camera details early

The first claimed Pixel 5 unboxing. (Source: YouTube)
The first claimed Pixel 5 unboxing. (Source: YouTube)
Google launched its latest flagship, the Pixel 5, at the end of September 2020. However, unboxings, first impressions or reviews of this new phone are yet to emerge on YouTube. Then again, one UK-based vlogger claims to have the device in hand, having been sent it by a carrier in this country.

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Google has just debuted the Pixel 5, which, while technically being a standalone successor to the 4 series, is powered by a mid-range (albeit 5G) processor rather than a flagship-level chipset as normal. However, most tech YouTubers have not provided videos indicating its performance compared to premium devices…except for one. TotallydubbedHD, despite being a relatively obscure channel (with about 27,000 subscribers at the time of writing), has already posted hands-on videos of this new phone.

This vlogger has been the first to admit he is not clear on how he managed this exactly. He claims to have received the phone, retail packaging and all, from Vodafone in the UK where he is based, sans mention of an embargo or other publishing restrictions of any kind.

Accordingly, the reviewer has been able to confirm that this phone does indeed come with free Bose QC35 IIs in this country as reported earlier, until November 20, 2020. It also seems the new Pixel can be acquired through Vodafone UK on its 24GB data/month plan at an introductory price of £43 (~US$56) plus £29 (~$38) upfront, albeit only until October 15, 2020.

The vlogger has also apparently been able to show us the Pixel 5 (with its new rear camera conformation and Just Black shade in evidence) in real-world terms. This includes an unboxing, which reveals that the phone comes with the same 18W charging brick, USB type C to type A adapter and cable as has shipped with previous generations.

TotallydubbedHD’s videos on the subject also show that it (predictably) cannot compete with a Galaxy S10+ in AI benchmarking tests or 4G performance. However, it did demonstrate much better speeds when exposed to a 5G signal. The vlogger reported that its Android 11 OS provided a generally smooth experience, although this may have had a lot to do with its 90Hz display.

As the phone comes with the same 12+16MP rear cameras as the 4 and 4 XL, however, it was able to outdo the Samsung phone in some areas, thanks to features such as improved Night Sight and HDR+ with Bracketing. Then again, its single front-facing camera suffered, mainly due to a lack of 60 frames per second (fps) while recording at its maximum FHD resolution and an ultra-wide field of view.

The YouTuber was also able to share some insights and preliminary drawbacks associated with the Pixel 5, such as that its rear camera hump is restrained compared to many other 2020 flagships and that its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor could be more recessed, thus impacting somewhat on its usability.

Nevertheless, these first impressions could still benefit from validation with further, more in-depth review processes, such as those found on Notebookcheck in the near future.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 4188 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 10 > The first Pixel 5 'hands-on' video may reveal some performance, UX and camera details early
Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-10- 6 (Update: 2020-10-10)