Pixel 5 hardware fail: Owners report gaps between frame and display

(Image credit: James Bennett 7908)

Google's hardware woes continue. This time, the Pixel 5 is in the spotlight after an influx of reports about build quality issues. 

Pixel 5 owners are complaining about a gap between the display and the body of the device, as reported by Android Police. Images uploaded on Google's support page and the XDA forums show a hairline gap between the phone's aluminum frame and plastic bumper.

It's unclear how widespread these issues are, but pages of posts from users with flawed hardware suggest this isn't an isolated problem. And while the gap may be a minor one, it could impact the IP68 dust and water-resistance of the Pixel 5. 

The gap is most prevalent on the top edge near the SIM slot (above the front-facing camera), although some photos posted to forum threads show seams on the sides of the device. 

Some Pixel 5 owners got their phones replaced by Google only for the new units to exhibit the same problems. Google has yet to acknowledge the hardware flaw.

Prospective Pixel 5 owners may want to hold off on buying the new phone. Yes, the number of reports is still pretty low, but the Pixel 5 only recently started shipping to customers, and more complaints are trickling in at an alarming rate. 

Android Police confirms that its Pixel 5 review unit has the gap problem, though it's not as pronounced as some of the others. The outlet says dust accumulates in the gap and the misaligned components don't "look too nice on a premium device." 

If you've kept track of Google's hardware launches then you know the company has struggled in the past with its Pixel phones. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL suffered from battery bloat while the Pixel 2 XL had issues with its oleophobic coating. 

We can only hope this latest issue is limited to a small batch of Pixel 5 units, and that, if it isn't, Google can quickly find a solution. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.