In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to set up the Pixel 5 – from switching the phone on and logging in to installing apps and adding wallpapers… 

Google released three Pixel phones in 2020: the Pixel 4a, the Pixel 4a 5G, and the flagship model Pixel 5.

And in 2021, it’ll be the turn of the Pixel 6.

In this guide, we’ll take you through how to set up the Pixel 5, look at its new features and how they work, and how to get the most from the phone’s new features and abilities.

From its new camera to new software updates inside Android 11, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the Pixel 5 to use it like a pro. And we’ll start right from the beginning – powering the Pixel 5 on…

The Basic Setup: Powering On & Signing In

Powering on The Pixel 5

Google’s Pixel 5 features a dedicated power key, it’s located on the right side of the device and is a different color from the rest of the phone’s chassis. Once you’ve unboxed the Pixel 5, press the power key to power the Pixel 5 on.

From here, you’ll be greeted with a welcome screen where you can begin setting up the phone. The Pixel 5 has some pretty handy features too, such as the ability to copy over all the data from another phone via a USB Type C cable.

If you don’t want to go through the rigmarole of re-adding all of your accounts and apps, you should definitely take advantage of this feature – it’ll save you plenty of time.

Transfer Your Data From Old Phone

With the Pixel 5, you can transfer data from your old phone to the Pixel 5. Once you’ve begun setting up the phone, you’ll be prompted to transfer data from another Android phone. If you want to do this, select the option to proceed.

You will need a USB Type C to USB Type C cable, like the one provided in the Pixel 5 box. To initiate the transfer, connect the two phones together with the USB Type C cable and then start the transfer process.

It can take some time, upwards of 15 minutes in some cases, so it’s best to let it run and have a cup of tea while you wait.

Signing In With Your Gmail Account

With any Android phone, you’ll need a Gmail account to access core Google apps like the Google Play Store. If you’re already coming from an Android phone, just use the same Gmail address you used on that phone.

If you don’t have a Gmail account, you can sign up for one here.

Once you have a Gmail, simply log in with your details and proceed through the rest of the setup wizard.

Setting Up The Fingerprint Scanner

Once you’ve logged in with your Gmail, you’ll next be prompted to set up the Pixel 5’s fingerprint scanner. The Pixel 5’s fingerprint scanner is located on the back of the phone which makes it easy to reach at all times.

When you enter the fingerprint scanner setup, the Pixel 5 will ask you to place your finger on the sensor on the back of the phone. It will then ask you to reposition your finger so it can take different reads of your fingerprint – it does this so it can read your print from different angles.

Setting up the fingerprint reader on the Pixel 5 takes less than a minute. You also have the option to add other fingerprints too. I didn’t bother with this but if you have more than one person using the phone it comes in handy.

Downloading Your Apps From Google Play

If you’ve logged in with your Gmail account, the one used on your previous Android phone, you’ll be able to open up Google Play and download all of your applications.

Or, if you used the Data Transfer Tool, all of your applications will be pulled from your old device onto the Pixel 5’s homescreen.

Either way, you will have to log in to each application again. But the process is definitely faster than re-downloading all of your apps from Google Play.

Whichever method you use, this part of setting up a new phone is often the most time-consuming. Me personally, I don’t run a lot of applications. I prefer to run fewer apps, apps that I use regularly, and do away with the useless apps that I hardly use.

This ensures you don’t waste space on your phone’s storage, it ensures your phone runs faster, and you’re less likely to run into the same security issues that you would if you had hundreds of apps installed on your phone.

Pixel Features: Things It Can Do


Setup Google Pay

Google Pay lets you add a credit card or a debit card to your phone. With the Pixel 5, you can add multiple credit cards and debit cards to Google Pay. Setting up Google Pay is simple, just download the Google Pay app from the Google Play Store and follow these steps:

  • Open Google Pay App
  • Follow Prompts > Add A Card (You Can Scan It Using Your Camera)
  • Confirm Your Card w/ Pin and/or Fingerprint Scanner
  • Google Pay Will Then Connect To Your Bank To Confirm Your Account
  • And You’re Done

Now that you have Google Pay installed, you can now pay for goods with your phone – just tap your phone onto the pay-point as you would with your debit card.

Using Google Drive (And Photos)

All Android phones come with a suite of core applications, and one of the best applications inside Google’s suite of apps is Google Drive. Google Drive is an all-in-one office suite that includes a word processor, spreadsheets, presentation apps, and more. Google Drive is essentially Microsoft Office 365 for free.

Drive runs in the cloud, so all your documents are synced between devices, so you can start writing a document on your phone and then pick it up on your computer, right where you left off.

Google Drive often gets overlooked by new users, but it is one of the most powerful apps on your phone. With Drive, you can effectively run an entire business. I know this because I do – this entire site is run through Google Drive and Google’s enterprise version, Google Workspace.

Adding/Removing Apps on Homescreen

If you want to move apps from your Pixel 5’s screen, all you have to do is hold down on the app until it comes unstuck. Once the app is unstuck, you can either slide it up to the top of the display and remove it from your homescreen (on the left side) or uninstall it completely (the option on the right).

The Pixel 5 Camera: Its Different Modes & Features


New Features & Updates Detailed

The Pixel 5 uses a 12MP IMX363 camera as its main sensor. This is the same sensor found on the Pixel 4 and the Pixel 3a, as well as the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G. The big change on the Pixel 5, however, is its new 16MP ultra-wide shooter which takes over from the Pixel 4’s 16MP telephoto camera lens.

The inclusion of a 16MP ultra-wide shooter means that you can now take EPIC shots of cityscapes and landscapes without having to step back. All you have to do is select the ultra-wide-lens option and the camera will switch to that mode, allowing you to capture more from the same spot.

How To Use Pixel 5’s Ultra-Wide Angle Lens

Using the Pixel 5’s ultra-wide-angle camera is really simple. The setting to switch to the ultra-wide-angle lens is built into the camera app. All you have to do is select the .6x option and the Pixel 5 will switch to ultra-wide.

As you can see from the images above, with the Pixel 5’s ultra-wide-angle lens you can fit more of your subject matter into focus without moving the phone itself – the lens does all the work.

The ultra-wide-angle lens is great for shooting landscapes or cityscapes, as you can fit in way more of what’s in front of you into the frame. It’s simple to use, it adds a load of utility, and it makes the Pixel 5’s camera a lot more versatile than the Pixel 4’s.

Pixel 5 Camera Modes Explained

  • Panorama – With panorama, you can take shots of massive landscapes or cityscapes by stitching together multiple shots. For best results, use a tripod and take a series of shots, following the prompts on the screen. Once you’re done, the Pixel 5 will stitch together the images and make a panorama that you can share online and via things like Facebook.
  • Photo Sphere – Photo Sphere allows you to take 3D photos, again, by stitching together multiple shots. Once you open the app, you’ll be prompted to take a series of shots in sequence and then the Pixel 5 will stitch them together and form an interactive 3D image.
  • Lens – Google Lens is really cool. With it, you can use your camera to find information on all manner of things. For instance: say your buddy has a new pair of shoes, you can point your camera at the shoes and Google will pull information from online about where you can buy them. Lens also works with landmarks and all kinds of things.