Pixel 5 teardown shows off the guts of Google’s latest flagship | GeekComparison

The first Pixel 5 teardown to hit the web is from PBKRreviews, giving us a fun look at the guts of Google’s latest flagship smartphone.

There’s a lot about the Pixel 5’s build that’s quite different. The first is the screen retention technique, which uses both adhesives and rectangular clips. You’ll need to both warm up the phone and pry out all the little tabs – hopefully without breaking them – to get to the inside of the phone. Compared to an iPhone 12, which uses glue and two screws on the bottom of the phone, or a Samsung phone, which is all glue, this is certainly unique. Whatever Google’s plan for holding the screen was, it doesn’t seem to work very well, as there have already been reports of uneven gaps between the phone’s frame and the screen.

Pixel’s next quirk is the lack of a traditional earpiece. Instead, the phone has an under-display speaker at the top of the screen. It doubles as a “stereo” speaker along with the normal speaker on the bottom of the phone. Under-screen earbuds vibrate the screen to play sound, but tend to sound pretty tinny.

While some more expensive Snapdragon 865 phones now have big, fancy heat pipes, the Pixel 5 just has a big sheet of metal on top of the motherboard for heat dissipation. There is also graphite tape between the battery and the aluminum case.

Google's image showing the steps in the build process of the Pixel 5. The second from the left shows the bare aluminum case, which has a bunch of holes punched into it for wireless charging and mmWave.  From there it goes into a mold and is covered with resin.
Enlarge / Google’s image showing the steps in the build process of the Pixel 5. The second from the left shows the bare aluminum case, which has a bunch of holes punched into it for wireless charging and mmWave. From there it goes into a mold and is covered with resin.

Google

The Pixel 5 is a rare phone (the first?) to have both a metal body and wireless charging, which was a bit of a mystery at launch. Years ago, the industry switched from metal backs to glass to facilitate wireless charging since the RF signals couldn’t penetrate metal. Unfortunately, the teardown doesn’t go into details, but Google’s press kit shows what a bare aluminum Pixel 5 case looks like, and Google’s solution to balancing metal and various RF requirements is pretty simple: just punch holes in the aluminum housing, wherever you are must send a signal.

Two large holes have been cut out on the back of the phone for wireless charging, and you can see large pieces missing from the top and side, which corresponds to where the mmWave 5G antennas go. To keep the phone from looking like Swiss cheese, the whole metal body goes into a mold (that black thing with tabs) and is coated in resin.

List image by PBKreviews

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