Pixel 5 camera test: improving on the best


The new Google Pixel 5 may not be the most exciting smartphone when you’re simply looking at its spec sheet, but a lot of you have been patiently awaiting the device simply for its cameras. Like last year, the new Pixel smartphone has two cameras on the back, but rather than having a zoom camera to go alongside the main sensor, the Google team has swapped in an ultrawide camera that will give you a whole new perspective on the world. Well… unless you’ve been using ultrawide cameras on other smartphones.

Put simply, the camera hardware setup on the Pixel 5 is a slight improvement over last year thanks to the extra versatility of the ultrawide camera, but Google’s still sticking with 12MP and 16MP sensors on the back of the phone and a low-resolution 8MP selfie camera. But Google has added in some important improvements in the software while also bumping up the phone’s video recording frame rate from 30fps to 60fps.

Best Pixel 5 deals

The main new feature that will lead to better photos is the addition of Portrait Night Sight images. If the phone detects that the scene is dark, it’ll give you the option to enhance a portrait shot with Night Sight to improve colors and brightness in the shot. Google is also giving you a new Portrait Light editing tool in Google Photos that will allow you to go back and edit images to enhance the lighting on a subject face.

We still need to do some testing to see if there’s a noticeable improvement in image quality when compared to last year’s Pixel 4, but so far we’re pretty happy with the results we’ve seen from the new Pixel 5. Take a look at the video and image gallery below to see how the Pixel 5’s camera handle themselves in different lighting conditions.

Google Pixel 5 camera specifications

Rear cameras

  • 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 107˚ (ultrawide), 1.0µm
  • 4K@30/60fps

Selfie camera

  • 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
  • 1080p@30fps

Google Pixel 5 photos

Nick Gray
I'm a life-long tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC. After writing about tech for more than a decade, I jumped at the opportunity to take on the role of Editor in Chief at Phandroid. Please contact me at [email protected].

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