Google Pixel 5 has gone through JerryRigEverything’s durability test and it shows “copious amounts of plastic.” Google advertises the phone to have a “water-resistant metal body” and a “100 percent recycled aluminium enclosure”, but nowhere does it mention the plastic coating or bio resin on top of the metal. The teardown showed that essentially the entire curvature of the phone is plastic on top of metal. The area of the back panel where the wireless charging coil is located does not have any metal between itself and the plastic back.
Zack Nelson, on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, put the Pixel 5 through his slew of durability tests. The phone’s screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 6 and started showing scratches at level 6 on Mohs scale of hardness, which was expected. The more interesting development unfolds on the back, where Nelson found “copious amounts of plastic.” The YouTuber also noted that Google’s website mentions metal three different times, but not once does it mention plastic or bio resin.
Digging on the side eventually revealed metal beneath the layers of plastic. The volume buttons are plastic but the power button is metal. On the back, significant amount of scratching and peeling revealed the copper wireless charging coil. Pixel 5 supports wireless charging but this technology has a limitation; it does not work through metal. So, to bypass this limitation, Google removed all metal from that particular area on the back so that the charging coil and the wireless charging surface it comes in contact with has only the bio resin in between.
Nelson also discovered that the battery is placed right under the charging coil and is also not protected by any metal. Poking into the back panel caused the battery to get pierced and start smoking, that in turn ruined the phone.
The bio resin is notably much more durable than regular plastic and did not dissolve when kept in acetone. Applying significant amount of heat made it a bit soft and easy to pull apart, revealing the metal on the top and bottom sections of the phone. However, even with the central portion of the phone not being reinforced by metal, the Pixel 5 did not bend easily, offering some reassurance for owners.