Google Pixel 5 has passed JerryRigEverything’s durability test and shows “large amounts of plastic”. Google advertises that the phone has a “water-resistant metal body” and a “body made of 100 percent recycled aluminum,” but makes no mention of the plastic coating or bio-resin on top of the metal. The teardown showed that essentially the entire curvature of the phone is plastic on metal. The portion of the back panel where the wireless charging coil is located has no metal between itself and the plastic back.
Zack Nelson, on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, put the Pixel 5 through its entire battery of durability tests. The phone’s screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 and started showing scratches at level 6 on the Mohs scale, which was expected. The more interesting development unfolds on the back, where Nelson found “large amounts of plastic”. The YouTuber also noted that Google’s website talks about metal three times, but not once about plastic or bio-resin.
Digging to the side eventually revealed metal beneath the plastic layers. The volume buttons are plastic, but the power button is metal. On the back, a significant amount of scratches and peeling revealed the copper wireless charging coil. Pixel 5 supports wireless charging, but this technology has a limitation; it doesn’t work through metal. To get around this limitation, Google removed all the metal from that specific area on the back so that the charging coil and the wireless charging surface it comes into contact with has only the bio-resin in between.
Nelson also found that the battery sits right under the charging coil and is also not protected by metal. Poking into the back panel punctured the battery and started smoking, which in turn ruined the phone.
The bio-resin is remarkably more durable than regular plastic and did not dissolve when stored in acetone. Applying a significant amount of heat made it a bit soft and easy to pull apart exposing the metal on the top and bottom of the phone. But even if the central part of the phone wasn’t reinforced by metal, the Pixel 5 didn’t bend easily, which gave owners some reassurance.
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