26 Apr 2021

After using Nokia 6.1 for about three years, it was time to update. Unfortunately, none of the Nokia models suited what I wanted this time, so I decided to spend a bit more and get a Google Pixel 5.

First impressions

The phone is a bit smaller than Nokia 6.1 and much lighter. The screen aspect is slightly different (fashion of the day is taller screens). If feels like a good quality phone, but not quite like a flagship. There is a feeling of hollowoness when the screen is touched, which takes some getting used to and is pretty strange.

The battery is not replacable, as usual. It has capacity of about 4,000 mAh, which is more than what Nokia 6.1 has. But, if anything, it lasts a bit shorter for the same set of applications on the phone and without being connected to a 5G network. Two days can be pushed out of it, but just.

The OLED screen is sharp, with those deep blacks. It leaves Nokia's screen in the dust.

Everything happens a lot faster than on the Nokia. I guess that Snapdragon 765G does make a difference.


With a bit more intense workout of the CPU, this phone does warm up. Must be all the horsepower that is available here that generates the heat.

Even with Nokia, I started using the awesome FairEmail recently. It is open source, with an absolutely amazing support and is the only Android email app that supports IMAP NOTIFY, to the best of my knowledge. Highly recommended!

DAVx5 works great on the phone as well. Another open source software, highly recommended.

The rest is pretty standard Android stuff and works without any problems.

I am not really a photo taking guy, but the camera appears to take nice photos.

There is no SD card support on this phone. Disappointing, but I knew this going into the purchase, so it was a reluctant tradeoff for the phone being splash resistant and getting updates on time.

The speakers produce decent volume.

Unfortunately, the included USB-C earbuds do not really fit my ears. After using them for a while, my ears hurt, because instead of soft silicone, the material in contact with the ears is hard plastic.


The phone came with Android 11, which received multiple security updates to get it completely up to date. Every one of those required a separate and lengthy process to get applied. Pretty bad design and for someone coming from Fedora RPM world, this feels like a step backwards.

4 May 2021: Google's 5 May 2021 security update. Worth notig is that on this phone, updates delivered by Google Play system also require a restart, so they are probably doing something?

8 Jun 2021: Google's 5 Jun 2021 security update. With 154 MB in size, it's likely not just security stuff.

11 Jun 2021: Google Play system 1 Jun 2021 update. Size of it was 15 MB, so probably contained actual patches and not just a version bump.

8 Jul 2021: Google's 5 Jul 2021 security update. Very small, less than 10 MB.

3 Aug 2021: Google's 5 Aug 2021 security update. Very small, just over 9 MB.

13 Aug 2021: Google Play system 1 Aug 2021 update.

8 Sep 2021: Google's 5 Sep 2021 security update. Just over 14 MB.

28 Sep 2021: Decided to give Android 12 Beta 5 a try. Looks a bit whimsical, with all those large buttons and super round corners. At a glance is now part of launcher, it seems, but it is totally broken. Let's hope Google fixes that for the final release. Apart from this, looks OK. Everything is still happening pretty smoothly.

5 Oct 2021: Google supposedly released Android 12 today, except they only released the open source code. Which means, the builds are not available yet for Pixel 5. Strange strategy. I am all for open source, but it is not like one can actually build working Pixel 5 binaries without all the proprietary junk...

19 Oct 2021: The at a glance weather got updated a few days ago, so the settings are no longer blank. After that, it worked for a few hours, then it stopped for a few days. Today, it started working again without any intervention. AI. :-)

20 Oct 2021: Android 12. Update size under 5 MB from Beta 5, so not much was changed. 5 Oct 2021 security update was delivered with it. The weather thing in at a glance has been working for over a day. :-)

5 Nov 2021: 5 Nov 2021 update, installed by sideload from OTA image. No idea why it did not get delivered to my phone as regular update by now, so updated by hand. A few days ago Google Play system update was delivered, with a date of 1 Sep 2021, which was already on the phone. Weird versioning system there.

8 Dec 2021: 5 Dec 2021 update, installed by sideload from OTA image. The OS is visually smoother, with gestures working more precisely. Nice.

5 Jan 2022: 5 Jan 2022 update, about 38 MB.

10 Jan 2022: 1 Dec 2021 Google Play system update, about 46 MB.

5 Feb 2022: 1 Jan 2022 Google Play system update a few days ago. From memory, just under 60 MB.

8 Feb 2022: 5 Feb 2022 update, just under 14 MB.

11 Feb 2022: 1 Jan 2022 Google Play system update, just under 600 kB. Confusingly named the same as the previous such update.

24 Feb 2022: 1 Feb 2022 Google Play system update.

8 Mar 2022: 5 Mar 2022 update, 392 MB. Looks like something other than security updates may have been delivered here too.

14 Mar 2022: 1 Feb 2022 Google Play system update, yet again. Just under 1/2 MB.

24 Mar 2022: 1 Feb 2022 Google Play system update, one more time. Version numbers are cheap. Why multiple releases have the same release name is a mystery to me.

31 Mar 2022: 1 Mar 2022 Google Play system update.

5 Apr 2022: 5 Apr 2022 update, 15.5 MB.

29 Apr 2022: 1 Mar 2022 Google Play system update, one more time. Over 30 MB.

3 May 2022: 5 May 2022 update, 15+ MB.

6 May 2022: 1 Apr 2022 Google Play system update.

24 May 2022: 1 Apr 2022 Google Play system update, a few days ago, one more time. Over 50 MB.

1 Jun 2022: 1 May 2022 Google Play system update.

7 Jun 2022: 5 Jun 2022 update, 203 MB.

17 Jun 2022: 1 Jun 2022 Google Play system update.

7 Jul 2022: 5 Jul 2022 update, just over 18 MB.

3 Aug 2022: 1 Jul 2022 Google Play system update.

5 Aug 2022: 1 Jul 2022 Google Play system update, again.

16 Aug 2022: Android 13, 876 MB. Nice early surprise by Google. :-) Includes 5 Aug 2022 security update.


It will probably be an OK phone for my needs. It is a bit expensive, but that is the price for getting a premium brand phone with quick updates.

Copyright © 2021 Bojan Smojver.
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