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5 hidden tips and tricks for Pixel 5

Google’s greatest smartphone is full of surprises. Here are some of our faves.


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The Pixel 5 is an awesome smartphone. It’s Google’s latest flagship, jam-packed with oh-so cool features – including quite a few that aren’t very well known, even now! Here are some hidden tips and tricks we’ve uncovered.

Shoot smooth and cinematic videos

Pixel phones have always been well known for taking incredible photos, day or night. And with the Pixel 5’s new Cinematic Pan feature, you can add spectacular looking videos to your bag of tricks.

Cinematic Pan makes your footage look super smooth - almost as if you were using the same equipment as a proper Hollywood director! It uses the best of Google’s machine learning and processing power to make everything you shoot look amazing. Epic is the word that springs to mind here.

Name that tune!

It happens to us all. We hear a great tune when we’re out and about, and want to know what it is. But by the time you unlock your phone and find an app that’s up to the job, the music’s over.

That’s not a problem with the Now Playing feature on your Pixel 5. It’s always on, constantly listening for any music playing in the background. And when it hears a tune, it tells you what it is onscreen. But that’s not at all – it even saves the recording so you can play it back later. Oh, and it does all this offline, so you’re not using any of your precious data.

To enable Now Playing on your lock screen, head to Settings > Display > Lock screen. Then tap Now Playing, and toggle ‘Show songs on lock screen’ on.

Swipe for Google Assistant

Google Assistant is your Pixel 5’s amazing know-it-all, always ready to answer your questions. You can speak to it with a friendly ‘Hey Google”, but you can also use an on-screen gesture to fire it up.

Simply swipe up from the left or right corner of your display to call up Google Assistant. You'll feel a small vibration, then see a message from Google Assistant asking how it can help.

Go to extremes with your battery

If you really need to save power and you’re far from a charger, help is at hand. The Pixel 5’s Extreme Battery Saver will keep you going for a while longer, by restricting all but the most essential processes running in the background. When you turn it on (under Settings > Battery > Battery Saver > Extreme Battery Saver), your phone’s processor will slow down, apps will pause and lots of other things will be limited. All to help keep you going until you can charge it up again.

Keep yourself safe

Last but not least, here’s a pre-installed app that every Pixel 5 owner needs to know about. It’s called the Safety app, and it’s been designed to protect you whenever you’re in trouble. With its ‘emergency sharing’ feature, for example, you can share your real-time location with your emergency contacts. Or use ‘safety check’ to set up a time for you to confirm you’re safe (if you don’t respond, your ‘emergency sharing’ will automatically start). You can also use the app to find out about nearby public emergencies and natural disasters. There are lots of useful apps out there – this one’s a real life-saver.

Want to see the latest Google smartphone? Check out what upgrades the Pixel 6 brings in.

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