Google says Pixel 5 screen and body gap is ‘normal part of the design’

As customers started receiving the Pixel 5 in mid-October, some noticed a small gap between the display and frame. Google has investigated the issue and says this is a “normal part of the design” that will not impact water resistance.

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A “Community Specialist” this afternoon said that Google investigated affected units and looked at “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. 

One immediate concern that arose was the impact on the IP68 rating. The company says today that there is “no effect on the water and dust resistance or functionality of your phone.” That said, it will “work with customers on an individual basis to address any concerns they may have.” The full statement is below:

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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. 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.

According to user reports, there is a variance between Pixel 5 units exhibiting this condition. Some are more pronounced than others, while most phones do not appear to be impacted. The inside of the phone is not visible through the gap, but dust does collect and can get trapped. As we summarized before:

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In most cases, the gap appears to show around the corner that houses the front-facing camera, but not exclusively in that spot. These reports also make it seem like the gap is appearing from the moment they take the phone out of its box, which is a bit comforting. If this gap appeared after the phone was being used, it would be a very serious cause for concern.

A teardown over the weekend revealed that the display — in addition to adhesive — is secured to the frame using five clips. As such, there are two layers of protection against the phone hypothetically falling apart.

Even with Google’s statement that there are no functional issues with Pixel 5 devices exhibiting gaps, it’s still strange that only some phones are affected. The intended design is presumably seamless, with the response suggesting that the company will work or be willing to exchange units.

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