Google’s 2020 not-so-high-end flagship has just started going out to new owners and there are already worrying complaints about the phone’s quality. These aren’t about some software problems that can be easily fixed by an update nor are they about display issue, well at least not as far as output or touch input are concerned. Instead, it’s a more problematic gap between the phone’s display and metal frame which may or may not affect the phone’s water resistance.
Like many reports about physical defects, complaints about the Pixel 5 have so far been few and varied, probably because the Pixel 5 has only started shipping in the first place. As Android Police noted, however, the number of reports is increasing consistently, building fears it might be a more widespread issue.
The location of the gap between glass and metal isn’t consistent either but most seem to be located on the camera’s side. This isn’t Google’s first Pixel with a punch-hole cutout so it’s not like it still doesn’t know how to do it right. Regardless of the cause, the durability implications are sadly not as small as the gap itself.
Any unintended opening would naturally allow liquid to pass through, which basically breaks IP water-resistance rating. But even if water isn’t able to get through, the gap could still be a haven for dust and small particles. Eventually, the gap could spread to the rest of the display, worsening the separation.
Google has so far remained silent on the complaints but it is undoubtedly aware of them by now. Even if it acknowledged the factory defects, it would most likely claim them to affect only a small number of units. But with a somewhat similar problem with the Pixel 4 XL’s glass back a few months ago, one might start to wonder about the state of Google’s QA for its Pixel phones.