We had high expectations from Google in terms of the photo. The performance of Pixel smartphones is always excellent, especially thanks to the high-performance algorithms of the brand’s engineers. The new features are not legion on the Pixel 5. It uses the main module of its predecessor, based on a 12.2 megapixel sensor and optics opening at f / 1.7. On the other hand, he swaps the telephoto module for an ultra wide-angle module. A smarter choice. Indeed, the telephoto lens can be effectively replaced by a digital zoom, while the ultra-wide angle cannot be simulated.

Main module

We take the same and start again. The main module of the Pixel 5 is identical to that of the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4a. Its 12 megapixel sensor is surmounted by an equivalent 26 mm lens opening at f / 1.7. Unsurprisingly, the Pixel 5 therefore retains an excellent level. In broad daylight, the level of detail is very satisfactory given the definition of the sensor. Only very high-end smartphones like the Samsung hooly-news.comxy S20 Ultra and its 108 megapixel sensor achieve better results. Note, however, that the rendering of the shots of our scene taken by the Pixel 5 are a little too cold.

Samsung hooly-news.comxy S20 Ultra (26mm eq, f / 1.8, ISO 50, 1/50 s)
Google Pixel 5 (27mm eq, f / 1.7, ISO 59, 1/95 s)

In low light, the Pixel 5 also offers very good rendering. This is where we can admire the prowess of Google’s algorithm. It manages to effectively remove electronic noise without being too destructive for fine details. The white balance is slightly better controlled on the Pixel 5 than on the S20 Ultra. However, Samsung’s smartphone manages to maintain a better level over the entire image surface and especially in the corners.

Samsung hooly-news.comxy S20 Ultra (26mm eq, f / 1.8, ISO 1250, 1/17 s)
Google Pixel 5 (27mm eq, f / 1.7, ISO 405, 1 / 8s)

Ultra wide-angle module

For the first time, Google adorns one of its smartphones with an ultra-wide-angle module. The latter is based on a 16 megapixel sensor and an equivalent 16 mm lens opening at f / 2.2. This module is shown to be rather good on the whole, with in particular a satisfactory level of detail. Despite a better definition than the main sensor, the ultra-wide-angle sensor is still a notch below. On the other hand, against the Samsung hooly-news.comxy S20 Ultra, the result is clearly to the advantage of Google.

Samsung hooly-news.comxy S20 Ultra (13mm eq, f / 2.2, ISO 125, 1/100 s)
Google Pixel 5 (16 mm eq, f / 2.2, ISO 125, 1/100 s)

Mods with very short focal lengths are often poor in low light. Google and its Pixel 5 manage to do well and offer a rendering that is certainly degraded, but superior to what can be found elsewhere, even with a very high-end model like the S20 Ultra.

Samsung hooly-news.comxy S20 Ultra (13mm eq, f / 2.2, ISO 2500, 1/17 s)
Google Pixel 5 (16mm eq, f / 2.2, ISO 737, 1/4 s)

Video and front photo module

Video recording can be done up to 4K definition at 60 fps. A mode in which the Pixel 5 does admirably, without slowing down or stalling in focus tracking. Electronic stabilization is very powerful, even in full definition.

At the front, the photo sensor is satisfied with a definition of 8 megapixels. It benefits from Google’s good image processing to produce good quality shots overall. However, the level of detail does not take off very high.