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April 2021 update apparently boosts the performance of the Pixel 5 substantially

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Google’s Pixel smartphones are now getting the April security update, which seeks to fix vulnerabilities and seemingly also unlocks the potential of Pixel 5’s SoC.

The April Pixel update fixes the grid size customization issue on the Pixel 4 and older supported phones that seemingly arose after the quarterly feature drop.
The security patch also aims to resolve an issue that caused Pixel 4 and later devices to freeze during boot. It also takes care of a problem that made Pixel 3 and older phones appear offline when connected to a VPN.

For Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 owners, the update also improves camera quality on third-party apps like Instagram. 

Pixel 5 performance issues have been taken care of

Now comes perhaps the highlight of this update. It brings performance optimizations for graphic-intensive apps and games to the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5
Austrian newspaper Der Standard’s editor Andreas Proschofsky ran benchmarks on the Pixel 5 after updating it and its scores on 3DMark have improved by up to 50 percent relative to its performance after the March update. 3DMark is a tool that determines the performance of 3D graphic rendering and CPU workload processing capabilities.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the results will be reflective in real-life performance, but is nonetheless interesting, especially given that such boosts are rare. 

Proschofsky also notes that the Pixel 5 is usually slower than competing phones like the LG Velvet that are underpinned by the same chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, and theorizes that Google may have throttled the performance, and the new update has disabled throttling. This has fortunately not led to thermal issues, per Proschofsky, presumably because the phone was consuming less power than other comparable devices previously. 

AnandTech’s Andrei Frumusanu, who in their review of the Pixel 5 said that it didn’t perform as well as other Snapdragon 765G-powered phones, also says that the ‘performance has been essentially doubled’ when compared to January scores. 

If you haven’t received the update yet, you can check for it manually in System Settings. If you have a carrier-locked device, you may have to wait longer.

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