Pixel 5 Display Gap is By Design, Google Says

Posted on November 4, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 21 Comments

In the wake of alarming reports of Pixel 5 build quality issues, Google says that gaps under the display are not a design defect.

“We’ve had a chance to investigate units from customers and, combined with our quality control data from the factory, we can confirm that the variation in the clearance between the body and the display is a normal part of the design of your Pixel 5,” a Google representative told customers in a support forum. “There is no effect on the water and dust resistance or functionality of your phone. We will work with customers on an individual basis to address any concerns they may have.”

While it’s hard to understand how a gap between the display and the body of the Pixel 5 wouldn’t trigger water and dust resistance issues, it is perhaps just as confusing why this type of separation is acceptable to Google. Granted, the issue doesn’t show up on all Pixel 5 handsets, and it’s worse on some than others when it does. But I hope the company is working behind the scenes to correct the issue, even while it publicly states that there is no issue.

Plus, that forum thread is full of customer photos displaying the issue. That’s just embarrassing.

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “Pixel 5 Display Gap is By Design, Google Says”

  1. yoshi

    I went to Best Buy yesterday to check out the new lineup of Pixels. They had 2 Pixel 5s on display, and both had the screen gap. Just like many people have described, on the left side of the phone. The right side of the display was sealed to the body perfectly.

    Side note: The Pixel 4a 5G felt like the winner to me out of all 3 current Pixels.

  2. ebraiter

    And how long was it since the Pixel 5 came out? There were complaints since it was released and only now they come up with this lame excuse.

  3. crunchyfrog

    Who launches an investigation into something that was part of a products design?

    I smell a class action coming.

  4. crunchyfrog

    “You’re holding it wrong “

  5. wright_is

    Why should it affect dust and water resistance? If it is part of the design, it shouldn't have any effect.

    That said, I've had plenty of telephones with similar gaps around the side, the problem is, they get filled up with gunk (sweat, body oil, dead skin, dust etc.) and are disgusting! I'd sit there with a business card or other piece of stiff paper every couple of weeks and use the edge to clear out the gunk from the gap.

  6. skinnyjm

    Might as well just said it's a new feature for dirt and germ collecting.

  7. richardeid

    Why didn't they just state that they are extending personal results to the hardware division?

  8. SvenJ

    Maybe it's like the venting around Surfaces.

  9. compuser

    What BS. Modern cell phones are manufactured to incredibly precise specifications. If there are gaps, especially gaps that are not consistent with all Pixel 5s, those gaps are defects. I guess Google really thinks its customers are all pretty stupid.

  10. gf0rce1

    Because Antenna-gate has already been done...

  11. jimchamplin

    You hear that? Poor quality is now a "normal part of the design" of things.

    Can't make this shit up.

  12. Saarek

    Will they be issuing replacements for those handsets that don't exhibit this "design feature"?

  13. anthonye1778

    Huh. Then I need Google to tell me why there is no gap present on my device...

  14. reefer2

    With a 0.4 % market share, what would you expect?

  15. RobertJasiek

    Incompetent design and incompetent excuse.

  16. proftheory

    The problem is that they are holding it wrong.

  17. red.radar

    It’s a feature. It’s the pocket lint collector. You put your phone in your pocket and at the end of the day it collects the lint and you empty it out. Brilliant!