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Google Pixel 5 review: new phone, old tricks

The amount of effort Google seems to put into its Pixel phones while simultaneously ensuring that they look and feel mundane never ceases to astonish me. The new Pixel 5 is the epitome of this trend, though it’s been present since the beginning.

The Pixel 5 is unassuming. Instead of pushing the state of the art forward, Google has seemingly retreated to simpler, more reliable, and less expensive technology. The Pixel 4 had face unlock, squeezable sides, and a literal radar chip. The Pixel 5 has a simple rear-mounted fingerprint sensor that harkens back to Android phones from 2018, not 2020.

And yet, it’s still a very good phone for $699. It’s not impressive or flashy. By spending just a little (or a lot) more money, you can get better specs, larger camera arrays, prettier screens, and fancier designs. The Pixel 5 is trying to sell something else, sometimes to

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